Mercedes Benz India sales grew 43% in 2021 to over 11,000 units despite semiconductor shortage

Source: Economic Times, 12 January 2022

Mercedes Benz India reported a 43% growth in sales in 2021 as demand recovered after a particularly bad year in sales in 2020 due to the pandemic. Sales could’ve been higher if not for the semiconductor shortage, the company said.

The German carmaker sold 11,242 cars in India last year compared to 7,893 units sold a year prior. Sales, however, are significantly lower than the peak sales of 15,538 cars sold in 2018. With this, the Stuttgart-based company firmly remains the largest-selling luxury car maker in India for the seventh consecutive year.

The company is sitting on an estimated order book worth Rs 1,500 crore as more than 3,000 customers are waiting for their new Mercedes. A global shortage of semiconductors meant that automakers across the board are struggling to make enough cars to meet the demand in the market.

Last week, German rivals BMW and Audi reported 34% and 101% growth in their India sales in 2021. The former sold 8,876 cars in the country, including 640 units under its Mini brand. Audi doubled its sales to 3,293 units in 2021 after a particularly bad year in sales in 2020.

In a year of sport utility vehicles (SUVs), where more customers across price points preferred the high-seating body style, Mercedes Benz reported the long wheelbase E-Class limousine to be its best-selling car. To build on the success of the limousine, the company will be bringing the S-Class Maybach as well as the electric EQS to India in 2022.

“2022 will be another milestone year as we aim to lead the luxury EV segment by expanding our EV portfolio with the debut of the first-ever all-electric luxury sedan from Mercedes-Benz, the EQS,” Martin Schwenk, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said in a press statement.

In an interview to ET on Wednesday, Schwenk said that he was confident to better the sales performance of 2021 this year with 10 new product launches, the situation remained uncertain due to the parts shortage and the fear of a resurgent Covid-19 pandemic.

The supply chain challenges will continue to prevail for at least the next six months, he said, adding that if not for these challenges, the market demand was good to deliver pre-Covid level of sales.

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