India's top luxury carmakers registered a significant increase in sales in the first nine months of calendar year 2017.
Market leader Mercedes-Benz sold a record 11,869 units in Jan-Sep 2017, up by 19.6 percent (January-September 2016: 9924 units). In fact, it even registered best-ever third-quarter sales as volumes touched 4,698 units in the July-Sep, up 41 percent from last year.
Growth was led by the long-wheelbase E-class sedan, which was the highest-selling model followed closely by the C-class sedan. Among SUVs, the GLC was the top seller followed by the GLE, the carmaker said in a statement today.
Meanwhile, BMW has registered a 17.3 percent year-on-year growth in sales to 7,138 units in the first nine months of 2017. Volumes saw a boost in the third quarter (July-Sep) due to the upbeat demand for the new 5-series which was launched on June 29, 2017. Like Mercedes, BMW also registered its best-ever third quarter with sales of 2,549 units.
Vikram Pawah, president, BMW Group India, reiterated that the company's focus is on achieving sustainable growth rather than get into the sales volume race. "We are confident of continuing this momentum as we strongly believe, that leading the growth of the premium car segment in India is more important than being just number one,” he said.
British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover said its volumes grew 45 percent in the first nine months of the calendar year 2017 to 2,942 units on the back of new launches and dealership expansion.
Growth in the luxury car segment could face a hurdle in the form of the recently hiked cess under the Goods and Service Tax. Under the new GST code, the additional cess on mid-size vehicles has been raised by 2 percent to 17 percent, on large vehicles by 5 percent to 20 percent and on SUVs by 7 percent to 22 percent. As a result of the hike, the total tax incidence on mid-size cars, large vehicles and SUVs now stands at 45 percent, 48 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
Luxury carmakers have been hit hard as the hike will force them to rework their strategy, thereby impacting long-term planning. "It always gives an additional momentum to our growth plans when the policy framework is supportive, given our contribution to the economy,” Roland Folger, managing director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said in a statement.