2013-14 luxury passenger vehicle market on upswing
Audi has announced their annual sales numbers and it stands at an outstanding 10126 units for 2013-14. In sheer volume terms that may not seem like much especially if you compare it to what a volumes player achieves. For most volume players this is a monthly number not something to be posted annually. But for a sector whose share is less than 1 percent of the total market size, it's a satisfying figure. The numbers are equally big for Mercedes-Benz India who managed to move 9548 units growing by 47 percent over the previous year. The last quarter especially has been highly gratifying with Audi moving 2740 units while Mercedes-Benz 2554 units. The sales of course come from the SUV and entry level executive sedan segments. Sales are dominated by the Q3/Q5/Q7 and A4/A6 in the case of Audi while for Mercedes-Benz the new E-Class and S-Class, the M-Class and B-Class are bringing in the numbers.
The spurt in sales volume has been attributed to the increase in the number of HNI's and their needs to buy automotive status symbols. Despite a general slowdown the demand for luxury cars has grown on the back of diverse and improved products. But the pitch does not just end there, luxury car makers have worked hard at wooing newer consumers though strong direct marketing activities like driving programs such as the performance training exercises conducted at the BIC in Greater Noida. These and various other driving events such as the Audi Q Drive and Mercedes-Benz StarDrive program held across India have helped consumers get a more intimate feel for luxury products before investing in them.
"Whether in motorsport or in business, the name Audi has been synonymous with winning. Audi continues to be the market leader in the luxury SUV segment in India. Audi is also the market leader in the sports car segment in India and the launch of the Audi RS 7 Sportback has further consolidated our leadership in performance cars in India. We intend to reach our customers across India and plan to expand our dealership network to 40 by the end of this year," said Joe King, Head, Audi India.
In 2014-15 these numbers will only get bigger than before principally thanks to the inclusion of some high energy volume sedans. Audi will start sales of the A3 sedan towards the beginning of the second quarter. Alongside it will continue to offer a few other models like the A8 expected within the next couple of months, the A3 convertible and some other sports cars. Mercedes-Benz will bring in the CLA to take on the A3 and towards the fourth quarter will also introduce the GLA which is their compact SUV to take on the Q3. Alongside it will launch revised editions of the new C-Class which are expected to get them further numbers and the a few other updates from the AMG range.
"We have seen an upward trend in customers who are successful professionals and live a global lifestyle, opting for our brand. This is a very positive trend and keeps us bullish about the long-term growth potential of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars in India. Mercedes-Benz sets its growth path in 2014 pursuing the Year of Excellence strategy. This strategy entails providing the experience of modern luxury to customers and bringing the luxury car ownership to the next level," said Eberhard Kern Managing Director and CEO Mercedes-Benz India.
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