Mercedes aims double-digit growth despite difficult market

German luxury car maker Mercedes Benz today said it expects a double-digit growth in sales in the current year on the back of new models and expansion in dealership network, even as market condtions are "difficult".

Expecting Indian luxury car market to grow further, Mercedes Benz said that "very high taxation" on luxury vehicles is the major challenge the industry is facing at the moment.

"Mercedes will grow in double digit," Mercedes Benz, MD and CEO, Eberhard Kern told reporters here to a query on company's expectations from Indian market this year.

He was here to inaugurate a new outlet at Mohali.

"Market conditions here are difficult right now. For more than one and a half years, Indian market is not developing quite well," he said.

However, Kern said Mercedes grew by 32 per cent in 2013 by selling 9003 units in comparison to 6840 units sold over corresponding period of 2012.

E Class among all models was its the best selling model as it had one third share in total sales.

It even posted growth of 27 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 with total sales of 2554 units in January-March period.

He said that the company had adopted two pronged strategy in order to attain higher sales of luxury vehicles in India.

"The first part of the strategy is to bring latest technology and models as early as possible to India. Customers here are quite tech savvy and they expect latest technology and latest models," he said.

The company has plans to roll out ten new models this year as part of its strategy for Indian market. It has already launched four models.

"Next one (new model) is to come on May 15 which is ML 63, the high performance SUV," he said without divulging details of other models to be launched later this year.

Kern said India's luxury car market size stood at 32,000 units last year which is just 1.4 per cent of total car market.

"We expect luxury car market to grow further and its (luxury car market) share is quite small at 1.4 per cent of total car market size. We believe luxury (vehicles) will do even better," he said.

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