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What slowdown? Mercedes is on a roll in India

business Updated: Nov 02, 2008 20:35 IST
Jaidev Majumdar
Jaidev Majumdar
Hindustan Times
What slowdown? Mercedes is on a roll in India

Diwali sales have dampened the spirit of several car makers, thanks to the economic slowdown. But luxury car maker Mercedes Benz is having its best year in 11 years of existence in India.

Merc, Audi and BMW are the most-sought luxury cars in India, with sales of 3,141 units in the first 10 months (January-October 2008), a 46 per cent rise from the corresponding period in 2007 (2,141 units).

Sanjiv Sahajwala, director, sales and marketing of Mercedes Benz India, who was in Kolkata to roll out the AMG model, said all luxury car makers in India have been having a good run with combined sales touching 6,500 units during the first 10 months of 2008. Mercedes holds a market-share of more than 50 per cent.

Mercedes operates in a niche elite segment, while firms like Tata Motors and General Motors, which mainly target the middle class, have taken a severe hit in their festive sales despite offering discounts and other goodies. Most Merc buyers do not care much for financing options, said Sahajwala, adding: “We also have no plans to back out of the numbers that we plan to do in 2009.”

A new Merc factory is set to start in Pune late this year.