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Luxury vehicle sales set new records from January to June.

The luxury car market in India is poised for its best year ever, surpassing pre-covid-19 peak sales. The demand for high-end vehicles is primarily being driven by a growing salaried luxury consumer base, and new offerings.
Mercedes Benz India, the largest luxury carmaker by market share, saw volumes grow 13% to 8,528 units in January-June 2023, compared to a year earlier. It is the Stuttgart-based company’s best-ever first half performance in India, beating its H1 peak of 2018. This growth comes on a high base of 7,573 units in H12022, a 56% jump over the first half of 2021.
Rival Audi India also saw its sales nearly double during the period to 3,474 deliveries, against 1,765 units a year ago.
Both original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are seeing a gradual improvement in waiting periods and faster fulfilment of pending orders as supplies improve.
Mercedes Benz saw sales of its battery electric vehicles (BEVs) grow by 10 times in the first six months of 2023, following the launch of two new products, its flagship EQS sedan and the EQB 7-seater SUV.
“We are operating at the top end of the EV segment with the EQS at about ₹1.7 crore and the EQB at close to ₹80 lakh. The two products together represent 3-4% of our total sales, which was at over 300 units in H12023″, Santosh Iyer, managing director and chief executive, Mercedes Benz India, said in an interview.
“H2 will see far stronger growth as the availability of BEVs increase. We will be able to deliver more cars. The waiting periods for both cars are currently at 3-4 months. With improved availability, BEV growth should be even better in H2.”
Increasing participation of a new class of consumers, comprising corporate sector employees, the youth, and wealthy entrepreneurs led to higher demand for luxury cars. In fact, the growth for luxury vehicles has been faster than the overall passenger vehicle segment.
Mercedes Benz India has seen an 8-10% increase in the flow of new inquiries for its models in the first half of the year. “The luxury car market growth should be higher than passenger vehicles and penetration of luxury cars to the PV market should marginally improve from 0.9% in 2022, to 1% this year,” Iyer added.
Audi India’s sales of top-end models, including the Q7, Q8, A8 L, S5 Sportback, RS5, RS Q8 and Audi RS e-tron GT rose by 127% in H1 from a year earlier. The carmaker is preparing to launch the Q8 e-tron, its most recent BEV offering, for the Indian market.
BEVs account for 3-4% of the company’s portfolio, almost at the same levels as last year.
“The growth has been a combination of multiple factors. One, of course, is the far better availability of semi-conductor chips compared to last year. We also launched the Q3 and Q3 Sportback in the beginning of the year. Both were volume-drivers and are adding to our sales. We now have one of the strongest SUV portfolios we’ve ever had in India,” said Balbir Dhillon, head of Audi India.
“Today, the economy is doing well, you can see the equity markets are strong and the signals are positive. Our infrastructure is also becoming globally competitive, and there is a shift in customer sentiment from saving to spending. We witnessed strong 97% growth in H1, and we believe the next six months will also be strong. We should be closing the year with a strong double-digit growth. H2 will see better sales due to the onset of the festive season, August onwards”, Dhillon added.



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