Luxury car sales grow in 2023; Mercedes-Benz leads
Well before Christmas trees were mothballed for another year, automakers in India began to announce their sales results for 2023. On the face of it, it was a tremendous year for everyone involved; luxury automakers in particular had a bonanza year with record-breaking sales all around. We sifted through all the sales figures to give you everything you need to know and to see who triumphed overall.
1st place: Mercedes-Benz
And the winner is Mercedes-Benz India, with their best year ever clocking a staggering 17,408 units, which delivered a 10 per cent growth over 2022. Their SUV lineup, bolstered by the launch of the new GLC and the updated GLE, along with the GLA and GLS, were particularly strong performers, accounting for 55 per cent of overall sales. The remaining 45 per cent was contributed by Mercedes-Benz's sedan lineup, of which the E-Class LWB still remains the highest-selling single model. Mercedes-Benz also sold three times as many BEVs in 2023 compared to 2022, accounting for around 4 per cent of total volumes (SUV and sedan combined).
Mercedes-Benz India is not easing off the loud pedal this year, with a planned 12 new launches in 2024, including 3 BEVs and several top-end vehicles. Plans are also in place to inaugurate 20 new workshops and launch a presence in 10 new cities this year. Mercedes-Benz has also announced a Rs 200 crore investment in manufacturing operations, new product start-ups, and digitization of manufacturing processes.
2nd place: BMW
A relatively close second is BMW India, which registered 18 per cent YoY growth and sold 13,303 cars. BMW ended the year on a high note with the BMW 7 Series winning the Premium Car of the Year at the prestigious Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY). Its success was reflected in the sales as well, with the BMW Luxury Class, comprising the 7 Series, i7, X7, and XM, growing by a whopping 88 per cent YoY. BMW’s BEVs too had a great year, clocking three-fold growth with 1,475 units sold. The BMW iX remains the best-selling luxury EV in India for the second year running.
BMW subsidiaries MINI and BMW Motorrad India too registered significant growth in 2023. MINI saw a YoY increase of 22 per cent for a total figure of 869 units sold. The locally assembled MINI Countryman accounted for 55 per cent of total sales, while the MINI Cooper SE became India’s highest-selling premium electric hatchback. BMW Motorrad registered 8,768 units sold, an increase of 20 per cent YoY. The BMW G 310 models registered a growth of 19 per cent, impressive considering the increased competition from KTM and the newly launched Triumph 400 twins.
3rd place: Audi
Audi India registered a whopping 89 per cent growth in 2023, with a total of 7,931 units sold, its highest since 2015. Contributing to this immense success were the Audi Q3 Sportback, Audi Q8 e-tron, and Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron, which were launched this year. Audi’s used car division, Audi Approved: Plus, grew by 64 per cent with 25 showrooms nationwide. Audi claims that one in every four customers is a repeat customer, a testament to the brand's desirability in India.
Audi India also launched customer-centric programmes like the ‘ChargeMyAudi’ feature on the myAudiConnect app, which enables customers to find charging points from multiple charging partners. The German brand also opened India's first ultra-fast charging station in Mumbai, with a total capacity of 450kW.
4th place: JLR India
Jaguar Land Rover India recorded 3,582 units sold and 93 per cent YoY growth, which is impressive considering these are only results from the last nine months. JLR follows the financial year format compared to calendar year calculations by other manufacturers. Range Rover registered a remarkable 250 per cent growth, while the Defender registered 150 per cent. The newly launched 2024 Range Rover Velar also saw a growth of 183 per cent in the third quarter of 2023.
JLR is also striving to become carbon-neutral by 2039, with pure electric versions of the Range Rover, Discovery, and Defender in the works. The Jaguar range will also go fully electric; however, there is no word on the sales figures of its current line-up.
The Indian automotive sector witnessed a massive boom in 2023, with increased demand and a slew of new product launches. Manufacturers, too, were better equipped to fulfil demand by putting post-COVID supply chain woes behind them. Based on the current trajectory, 2024 promises to be an even more impressive year.