Mercedes-Benz reports 40 % growth in sales in India

While car sales have decelerated in recent weeks, luxury car-maker Mercedes-Benz has reported a 40-per cent growth in sales during the January-August period.

The Germany luxury auto giant sold 4,890 units during the first eight months of 2011, as against 3,495 in the same period last year, Debashis Mitra, director, sales and marketing, Mercedes-Benz India, said in Kolkata, while launching its new C-class sedan.

According to Mitra, the company will soon foray into retail leasing to raise its share in the luxury car market. "Individual or self-leasing will open another channel of marketing for us," he remarked. "So far corporate leasing generates 70 per cent of corporate sales." Mercedes-Benz Financial will start by leasing C and E class models in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

Mercedes-Benz is also partnering the India Formula One Grand Prix, to be held in Delhi from 28 to 30 October.

The Indian luxury car market, which grew by 50 per cent in the four first month of the current fiscal, is dominated by three German manufacturers: BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. While Mercedes-Benz, which was the first international luxury car-maker to enter India, dominated the market, it was replaced at the top spot by BMW in 2009. It currently sells the C, E and S-class sedans in India, besides the GL and M-class SUVs.

Growing aggressively, BMW launched the X1 last December, which at around Rs22 lakh, is the cheapest luxury car in India.