V-shaped recovery: In four weeks, Merc sells 50 Maybach GLS SUVs worth Rs 150 crore

NEW DELHI: Bang in the middle of the deadly second wave of coronavirus in India, Mercedes-Benz registered sales worth Rs 150 crore in just four weeks from one vehicle — the super luxury Maybach GLS SUV which at launch has been sold out for this year.
The car, which retails for around Rs 3 crore (ex-showroom of Rs 2.43 crore, plus road and registration and insurance charges) is amongst the most premium SUVs in India, and Mercedes-Benz sold 50 units even before its official launch on Tuesday.
This is the second Maybach model to be rolled out in the Indian market, following the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class limousine, and displays the company’s confidence on the local economy despite the strong headwinds due to the impact from coronavirus.
The model is powered by a V8 3,982cc petrol engine (557 horsepower) that accelerates from 0-100 kms per hour in 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 250 kmph.
Santosh Iyer, VP (Sales & Marketing) at Mercedes-Benz India, said demand remains at the top-end of the market despite the pressures on the economy which was broadly in a lockdown for the past two months.
“Most of the guys who bought the Maybach GLS are known celebrities, and include people from the film industry, cricketers, apart from business tycoons. Many had been waiting for this car for a long time, and made the bookings as soon as we opened up,” Iyer told TOI as forecasted a swift revival for the luxury brands with the markets now opening up.
“Nearly 50% of our dealers have opened up, and the indications are strong and healthy. We expect the market to flow into the pre-Covid levels pretty soon, and thus remain committed to our original plan of launching 15 new vehicles this year.”
Asked whether the company’s volumes would take a hit this year due to lockdowns and restrictions over the past two months, Iyer said he expects minimal impact. “We are hoping that the market will bounce back quickly, and expect volumes to grow by double-digit percentage point for this year.”
The company is the country’s largest luxury car seller, and recorded sales of 7,893 units in 2020 (decline of 43%) as demand was hit by the outbreak of coronavirus towards the beginning of fiscal 2020-21.

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