Luxury carmakers – Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW – are seeing an uptick in demand for their models at the premium-end in India, leading to long waiting periods amid supply constraints, according to top executives of the companies.
They are seeing higher growth in the premium-end as compared to the volume segment of their respective portfolios.
“In the last few months, I would say that the trend started from last year, the demand for C and D segment, which is cars above Rs 70-75 lakh, the growth in that segment is even more than the volume-segment growth for us. ,” Audi India head Balbir Singh Dhillon told PTI.
He further added, “A large number of people, who are able to buy these sets of cars (industrialists, sports personalities and Bollywood celebrities), are actually coming forward and spending on buying luxury goods and the demand is really good. is.”
Citing the example of Audi’s electric car e-tron, Dhillon said, “We are selling these cars in the Rs 1 crore plus category. They are sold even before they enter India.
“Partly, it is also because there is definitely a supply crunch, but still I would say everything we are getting is already sold out. So there is a very positive demand on it that this e- Tron or Q8 (SUV).”
He said the waiting period for these cars has increased, “what used to wait from one month to two months is now turning into four to six months”.
Expressing similar views, Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director and CEO Martin Schwenk said, “Unfortunately it will take months for some of the cars to get to our customers, especially our GLS and GLE (SUVs), where Not only are there supply-chain bottlenecks, but globally the demand-side is so high that we have to prioritize and make sure we can actually deliver over the course of the year.”
He added that in the first quarter of 2022, the company had a total order bank of over 4,000 units across its portfolio.
Mercedes-Benz India had sold over 2,000 top-end vehicles priced above Rs 1 crore in 2021. These cars include S-Class Maybach, GLS Maybach, top-end AMG, S-Class and GLS SUV. 30% of the company’s annual sales. It expects high-end segment volumes to grow by 20 percent in 2022.
Another luxury car maker BMW is also seeing a similar trend with its premium vehicles and is witnessing rapid growth.
BMW Group India said, “We are very strong with the SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) – X3, X4 and X7 models. We are registering 40 per cent growth in that segment. They now account for over 50 per cent of our portfolio. ” President Vikram Pawah said.
With prices above Rs 61 lakh, BMW India’s SAV segment sold 1,345 units in the first quarter, a growth of nearly 40 per cent.
The company has total bookings of 2,500 units, including its compact luxury car Mini, which has a waiting period of around 3 months.
In the January-March period, the BMW Group had posted one of its best quarters in India with a 25.3 per cent jump in four-wheeler sales at 2,815 units.
Luxury carmakers are expecting the supply crunch due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage, unavailability of shipping goods and the effects of the war in Ukraine, likely to ease in the later part of the year.