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Last Updated : Aug 01, 2019 12:28 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Luxury wars: BMW inches closer to Mercedes-Benz as race to the top heats up

The gap has narrowed by nearly half to 1,585 units this year from 2,890 between the two German players

Swaraj Baggonkar @swarajsb
 
 
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German heavyweight BMW is inching closer to market leader Mercedes-Benz as the race for the numero uno spot in India's luxury car segment heats up.

And here is the interesting part. BMW, the maker of X5 and 7 Series models, has gotten closer to its arch rival despite a fall in sales in the first half (January-June) of the year.

Moreover, sales of Mercedes fell much sharper, helping BMW close the gap.

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BMW sold 4,976 units during the January-June period this year, recording a fall of 3.77 percent year-on-year. In comparison Mercedes-Benz recorded a fall of 18.6 percent during the same period to 6,561 units.

The gap has thus narrowed by nearly half to 1,585 units this year from 2,890 between the two German players. Both companies compete in almost the same segments. BMW has launched three models this year X5, Z4, 530i to Mercedes two: C43 AMG coupe and V Class.

On the back of new launches and a strong retail push, BMW has managed to challenge the market leader, who has been facing strong challenges since the festive season of last year.

BMW clocked a 12.39 percent growth in volumes at 11,015 units in 2018 as against a 1.35 percent growth for Mercedes-Benz at 15,538 units.

Sales in the second half of any year is usually better than the first half due to the festive season and offers doled out by dealers and car manufacturers. This year it may be a challenge for luxury car players to find growth given that companies will be revising prices upwards.

Mercedes-Benz has decided to raise prices by three percent in the first week of August. The hike in necessitated following increase in customs duty hike on automotive parts announced in the Union Budget.

Martin Schwenk, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, said earlier: “We expect sales to recover gradually from the third quarter. However conditions would continue to remain challenging.”

Swedish luxury car brand Volvo bucked the trend reporting a growth of 11 percent during the first half of the year. The company, which manufactures XC90 SUV and S60 sedans, ended the six months period with sales of 1,159 units as against 1,044 units sold in the corresponding period of last year.

Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen-owned Audi have yet to disclose sales for the first six months of the year. Sales of Audi, India’s third largest luxury car player, had been pressure last year, hit by the closure of its single largest dealer based in the north.

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First Published on Aug 1, 2019 12:23 pm
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