Manufacturers have been caught off guard by a surge in demand for luxury vehicles, especially because the country is still recuperating from the disastrous second wave of covid-19, which began in April. In comparison to previous year, Mercedes-Benz India, the country’s top luxury manufacturer, has recovered faster from the second wave. Others are seeing a similar pattern, with orders stacking up even as supplies are taking longer than usual owing to a global chip scarcity.
Some high-end Mercedes-Benz models, such as the S-class, GLS, and AMG series, are nearly sold out for the year, and new orders will only be delivered in December or January of the following year. Audi, which is owned by Volkswagen, has seen sequential rise in sales and bookings across its entire product portfolio since its outlets reopened following the lifting of limitations. By the conclusion of the current quarter, the business expects to reach pre-second wave vehicle sales levels.
According to Santosh Iyer, vice-president, marketing and sales at Mercedes-Benz India, demand for AMGs, Maybachs, GLS-es, and other cars in the 1 crore and above sector has not only returned, but is one of the greatest the firm has ever seen for AMGs, Maybachs, GLS-es, and other automobiles.
“Despite the epidemic, our customers operate huge business houses and work in large corporations, and their results (profits) have been extremely good, with positive future expectations. The stock market has reflected the mood as well. This offers these shoppers the assurance they need to splurge on high-end items. Corporate India has also reduced its debt, which has increased its risk appetite. That explains the super-luxury segment’s rapid expansion,” Iyer explained.
Aside from the high-end items, Mercedes’ other vehicles, such as the E-Class sedan and the GLE, now have a waiting period of over four weeks, according to Iyer. The demand, however, comes at a time when a lack of semiconductors and shipping containers is affecting automakers’ manufacturing plans across segments. As a result, supplies are likely to be delayed, and some customers’ purchase plans may be postponed. If the covid epidemic does not resurface to interrupt bus service, most luxury vehicle manufacturers foresee significant growth during the holiday season.
“In the last six months, Audi India has shown consistent growth. There has been increase in the June and July quarters, and we expect this to continue with the forthcoming holiday season. The causes driving this increase in demand are the reopening of our touchpoints since the lifting of restrictions, as well as the engagement and sales leads generated by our digitalization strategy,” added Balbi.
He also stated that the company’s best-selling models, the Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi Q2, and Audi Q8, continue to be in high demand. Despite the devastating effects of the second wave, luxury automakers reported higher sales in the first half of this calendar year than in the same period last year.