It was just yesterday that we told you about Mercedes-Benz’s sales in India in 2020. The company sold 7893 units in the calendar year and that was a drop of over 42 per cent, however, it did manage to end the year on a high, with sales reaching pre-covid levels in the fourth quarter 2020. However, the big take-away has been that online sales have contributed to 14 per cent of the overall sales in 2020. The company said that it sold about 1250 vehicles online and is expecting that number to rise in the coming years.
Speaking exclusively with carandbike, Martin Schwenk, MD, CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “When we launched the platform 15 months ago, we said that we expect by 2025, to have a 25% online share. Obviously what took us by surprise is not that it works but that we could accelerate the adoption in that time frame. But obviously it’s not just falling from the sky because there’s a lot of work going on to develop the e-commerce platform.”
While this certainly has pumped up the company to do more online and provide customers with the best of technology in the world to help them buy a car, it has also brought out a new dilemma on whether physical dealerships are required. Schwenk addressed this query too. “Dealers are at the core of the operation. It’s not as if customers are ordering pizza. Yes, you can transact directly online without meeting anyone in person, but a car purchase will remain a strong interaction between what you do online and offline. We need to make sure that this integration is done well, and it’s convenient to the customer.”