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German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz reported a fall in sales with only 2386 units sold in the first quarter.
Mercedes-Benz India reported a downfall of 38 per cent in terms of sales. To put it in perspective, it only sold 2386 units in the March quarter as compared to 3885 units it had sold in the previous year. Currently, Mercedes-Benz has suspended production at its Chakan plant since March 21 due to the COVID-19 and coronavirus outbreak. The sales figures were not only impacted by this pandemic but also in the shift from BS4 to BS6 emissions norms, as many models faced a steep price increase with the shift to BS6 trims.
Although the first two months have been quite good for Mercedes-Benz in terms of sales racking up decent numbers, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted its sales targets. The company is looking to strengthen its online e-commerce portal by offering it as a sales channel to customers interested in their products. The company is also looking to bolster its used car section on its online store and offering a home delivery option for all its products. They are also working quite closely with their retail partners to help them integrate their online portal so they can offer the customer a hassle-free experience.
Mercedes-Benz India CEO Martin Schwenk also said the plans, as of now, are still on track to release the CLA and GLA models, But with the GLS it most likely will get launched in 2021. This is the first time in about seven years where sales figures have declined for Mercedes-Benz and the last time the company had posted such low numbers was all the way back in 2013.
In spite of this slowdown, the German manufacturer has been quite active in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, setting up isolation wards near its factory in Chakan for about 1500 people as well as donating ventilators to the medical departments. Mercedes recently donated equipment to the Grant medical for foundation Ruby Hall clinic in Pune and has provided dry rations and sanitisation kits to approximately 1600 daily wage workers and below poverty line families in and around the Ahmednagar and Pune regions.