India’s passenger car market has seen V-shaped recovery: Martin Schwenk

Order situation puts Mercedes-Benz on a pre-pandemic level, says MD

India’s passenger car market has seen a V-shaped recovery and Mercedes-Benz has witnessed a strong come back since mid-June, said MD & CEO Martin Schwenk.

“Mercedes-Benz was witnessing a V-shaped recovery with a double-digit sales growth in the January to August period,” he said.

“By the end of August, we sold almost as many cars as we sold the whole of last year,” Mr. Schwenk told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

“If I look into the current order situation, and what happened in the last one to two months, we are basically on a pre-pandemic level,” he added.

Strong demand for Mercedes-Benz products had also led to a waiting period of up to even 8-16 weeks for some of the car lines, he said. There were still constraints, so the luxury carmaker needed to prioritise with regard to delivery, especially for models like the GLS or GLE, and GLA, the MD added. “We just need to produce enough cars now. The pandemic induced supply constraints are only slowly going away,” Mr. Schwenk said. On taxation issues, he said the car business was a long and a cyclical one.

“So, to take advantage of any policy, planning around it, executing it and accordingly delivering the benefits to customers always took time, sometimes even years,” he said. “I hope there will some further movement [on industry’s talk with the government on duty regime] and if there is a movement, I would hope for consistency and visibility on what the plans are then for the coming years,” Mr. Schwenk said.

On the contribution from the pre-owned cars (POCs) segment, the CEO said Mercedes-Benz would add 100 POCs a year to its sales volumes, which would be close to a 50% increase in the segment.

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