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Merc retains top slot despite marginal fall in sales

MUMBAI, Jan 10:  In spite of a marginal fall in sales due to ban on diesel vehicles for most of the year and demonetisation, world’s largest luxury carmaker Mercedes could retain its foothold in domestic market for the second year in a row by selling over 13,000 units in 2016.
For the Pune-based Mercedes-Benz India, this is the second consecutive year of selling over 13,000 units in annual sales and the company sounded optimistic about 2017, given the strong momentum in December and January.
The company has been maintaining that it would be surprising if it crossed last year’s sales numbers, as most of the year was wasted due to the Supreme Court ban on over 2000-cc diesel vehicles in Delhi and NCR, which constitutes about one-third of its market, and then note ban in November.
Mercedes-Benz India sold 13,231 units in 2016, marginally down from 13,502 units in 2015 when it toppled compatriot Audi to become the No 1 brand in the country.
This comes as an additional icing on the cake for the company as its parent has overthrown homegrown rival BMW to become the world’s largest luxe carmaker after more than a decade by selling the highest units in history.
“We have sold 13,231 units sold in 2016 period amid adverse market challenges, against 13,502 units in 2015. We have remained successful in retaining customer trust amidst challenges like the diesel ban for eight months in key Delhi NCR market, high Excise duty, rising prices and demonetisation effect in 2016,” company’s Managing Director & Chief Executive Roland Folger said.
He attributed the strong growth to robust sales from the SUV segment which grew by 20 per cent in 2016, with GLE emerging as the highest selling SUV in Merc portfolio followed by the GLA and GLS. The segment which witnessed the highest growth was the AMG and Dream Car portfolio, he said.
The C-class sedan remained the highest selling Mercedes-Benz model for second year in a row, replacing the E-Class sedan as the top seller, since 2015.
The company also said December sales were higher than the same month last year, despite the note ban effect. (AGENCIES)

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