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Luxury car segment : Mercedes Benz retains top spot , BMW closes second


Mercedes-Benz has retained the top spot in India’s luxury car market after posting 12 percent growth in the first half of the year and selling an average of five luxury cars every hour.
Mercedes-Benz India sold 8,061 luxury vehicles during the period of January to June this year as compared to 7,171 vehicles sold in the same period last year.
The growth, however, was lower compared to 2017 when sales grew by 16 percent.
BMW came in second with sales of 5,171 cars. The third German luxury carmaker Audi declined to share sales numbers.
Higher cess (25 percent) on luxury cars slapped after implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the middle of last year coupled with a five percentage points increase in customs duty on completely knocked down kits to 15 percent impacted retail demand.
The India subsidiary based in Pune said that its sedan portfolio grew by 15.2 percent while its SUV range grew by 15.9 percent in the six months period.
Roland Folger, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, said, “We attribute this growth momentum to our customer centric measures coupled with an unmatched product and customer service offensive. Our sales performance is in line with our expectation despite last year’s extraordinary demand in Q2, owing to the anticipation of GST implementation.”

BMW’s performance
Rival BMW also recorded a double digit growth in sales which came in at 5,171 cars including 281 units of Mini. BMW India recorded a growth of 13 percent as compared to 4576 units sold in the same six months of last year.
Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India, said, “Our strategy of focusing on introducing new and innovative product segments in the Indian luxury car market has started showing results. The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo and the BMW X3 have already exceeded our expectations and we see remarkable sales contributions coming from both in the future”.
In the first half of 2018, BMW sales growth has been predominantly driven by the sports activity vehicles, which has grown over 26 percent as compared to the same period in 2017. The all-new BMW X3 launched recently has led growth of the segment with over 60 percent growth compared to January – June 2017.
Apart from Audi, Tata Motors-owned British brands Jaguar Land Rover also declined to share sales for the same period. Swedish brand Volvo has said the growth during the same period has been higher than the growth clocked during the same period last year.

Charles Frump, Managing Director, Volvo, however declined to share details stating that Volvo will surpass the 28 percent growth of 2017 by end of this calendar year.

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