After ending 2017 with record sales, the country's leading luxury carmaker Mercedes Benz India today added yet another feather in its cap as it registered its highest-ever sales for the fiscal as well as the first quarter. The carmaker also said it would launch 10 vehicles in India during the year.
In the year ending March 2018, Mercedes-Benz India sold 16,236 units, up 22.5 percent year-on-year, and in the first quarter of the calendar year 2018 (January-March), it sold 4,556 units, up 25 percent.
Sales were led by the long-wheelbase E-class as well as the brand's SUV portfolio. The GLC was the top-selling SUV for the brand in the first quarter.
The German carmaker is cautiously optimistic about extending the growth this year as it believes sales could be affected by the government's decision to hike customs duty in Budget 2018. "It might be a challenge to sustain this momentum in the coming quarters," Roland Folger, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, adding that the spike in Q1 sales was due to the advancement of sales ahead of the customs duty-induced price hike.
For motor vehicles brought to India via the CKD (completely knocked down) route, the customs duty on imported engine components was hiked from 7.5/10 percent to 15 percent and duty on the vehicle parts that are an element of the CKD kits was raised from 10 percent to 15 percent. For cars brought to India as full imports, the rate on one section of customs duty has been hiked from 20 percent to 25 percent.
Mercedes-Benz E-class long term review, final report
Mercedes range of cars at the 2018 Auto Expo first look video
In conversation with Matthias Luehrs, Mercedes-Benz Cars
Rising fuel prices may dampen auto sales this year
Indian two-wheeler makers cross 20-million unit sales in FY2018
Carmakers end FY2018 on a strong note