German luxury car marque Mercedes-Benz is to invest $24m in its Indian business.
The announcement, reported by Reuters, citing a company top executive, comes after Mercedes launched plans in June 2023 to create 1,000 new jobs in its India R&D sector.
The new investment will go into Mercedes’ new car models, with over a dozen lines to reportedly be launched and a focus on pricier models that have seen strong demand from India’s younger and more affluent generation.
According to Santosh Iyer, managing director of Mercedes India unit, more than half of the German carmaker’s new launches in India will be top-end vehicles, priced at above $180,000.
“There is an evolving customer profile, the demographics are changing today,” Iyer said. “There is a lot of aspiration from the young achievers to straight away get into the top end segment of luxury.”
India’s vehicle market expanded significantly last year, despite sales in November going down to 4.8 million units, 7% less than in October.
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Passenger vehicle wholesales in November reached 329,000 units, 3% up year on year. In parallel, sales of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with gross vehicle weight (GVW) of up to 6 tonnes were about 55,000 units, 10% up from November 2022.
Mercedes buyers in India are mostly business owners, Iyer said. However, the number of Mercedes car owners who are salaried professionals has climbed up by around 20% since before the Covid-19 pandemic.