Mercedes expects double-digit growth in India in 2023 despite weak rupee

By Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Mercedes Benz expects double-digit gross sales progress in India this yr regardless of considerations {that a} weak rupee may drive up automobile costs, the pinnacle of the native unit mentioned in an interview.

The German luxurious automaker’s gross sales in India rose 41% final yr to fifteen,822 automobiles, the very best ever within the nation, with a pending order of round 6,000 autos, Santosh Iyer, managing director of Mercedes-Benz India, advised Reuters.

He mentioned a danger to the expansion of India’s luxurious automobile market is a weakening Indian foreign money that would drive Mercedes to extend native costs as imported elements change into costlier.

The rupee fell 10% towards the greenback in 2022, the toughest drop since 2013, making it one of many worst-performing Asian currencies.

“One of many largest dangers we see for us is the trade price. Just a little additional weakening of the rupee will lead us to additional worth will increase. So we see this little bit of a headwind relating to progress potential,” Iyer mentioned.

“However we’re beginning the yr with a really wholesome order financial institution, and that offers us confidence of double-digit progress even for 2023,” mentioned Iyer.

Mercedes plans to launch 10 new automobiles in India in 2023, most of which price greater than 10 million rupees ($120,000); that is the higher section section that grew by 69% in 2022. – in hybrids.

The corporate launched three EVs in India in 2022, together with a regionally assembled, electrical mannequin of its flagship S-Class sedan. Electrical autos have seen sturdy demand, with Indian prospects ready 4 to 6 months after reserving their automobiles. Iyer desires to get that down to 2 to 3 months earlier than launching extra electrical autos.

India’s EV market is gaining momentum – Renault is contemplating constructing a mass-market EV regionally, with a renewed entry right into a market the place gross sales of such automobiles are anticipated to develop quickly from a small base, Reuters reported on Friday.

Home automaker Tata Motors and overseas gamers equivalent to Stellantis and Hyundai Motor additionally lined up for electrical car launches.

Iyer mentioned Mercedes has seen a discount in world semiconductor shortages, however nonetheless faces some disruptions as a result of geopolitical points, the vitality disaster in Europe and epidemic-related lockdowns in numerous elements of the world as a result of elements shortages and delayed shipments.

He estimated that it could take 12 to 18 months for the scenario to return to regular.

($1 = 82.5410 Indian rupees)

(Reported by Aditi Shah; edited by William Mallard)

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