Mercedes expects double digit growth in India in 2023 despite weak rupee According to Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Various Mercedes-Benz models are parked at the company’s vehicle assembly plant in Chakan, on the outskirts of Pune, India, June 11, 2015. REUTERS/Siddiqui of Denmark/File Photo

By Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Mercedes Benz expects sales in India to post double-digit growth this year, despite concerns that a weaker rupee could boost car prices, the division chief local said in an interview.

Santosh Iyer, managing director of Mercedes-Benz India, told Reuters that the German luxury carmaker’s sales in India jumped 41 percent last year to 15,822 vehicles, the highest level since in the country and the automaker has an order backlog of about 6,000 vehicles.

One risk to the growth of India’s luxury car market, he said, is a weakening Indian currency, which could force Mercedes to raise domestic prices due to increasingly imported components. expensive.

The rupee fell 10% against the dollar in 2022, its steepest drop since 2013, making it one of the worst performing Asian currencies.

“One of the biggest risks we see for ourselves is the exchange rate. With the rupee being a bit weaker, that should drive us up more. So it’s a headwind. the opposite we see when it comes to growth potential,” said Iyer.

“But we are starting the year with a very healthy order bank, and that gives us confidence in double-digit growth even in 2023,” Iyer said.

Mercedes plans to launch 10 new models in India by 2023, most of which are priced at over 10 million rupees ($120,000), the top-end segment growing by 69% by 2022. including gasoline cars, electric cars (EVs) and plugs. -in hybrid.

The company has launched three electric models in India by 2022, including an electric, locally assembled model of its flagship S-Class sedan. Electric vehicles have seen strong demand, with Indian customers having to wait four to six months after booking. Iyer wants to reduce this time to two to three months before rolling out more electric vehicles.

India’s EV market is gaining momentum – renault (EPA:) is considering building a local mass-market electric vehicle, Reuters reported on Friday, in a new attempt to target a market where sales of such vehicles are expected to ants will grow rapidly from a small base.

domestic car company Tata engine (NYSE:) and foreign companies such as Stellantis and Hyundai Motor have also lined up EV launches.

The global semiconductor shortage has eased, Iyer said, but still faces some disruptions due to parts shortages and delayed shipments mainly due to geopolitical issues, the energy crisis, and more. volume in Europe and pandemic-related shutdowns in different parts of the world, Iyer said.

He predicts it will take 12 to 18 months for the situation to normalize.

($1 = 82,5410 Indian rupees)

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