After regaining its top position in the luxury car space, Mercedes-Benz appears in no mood to get complacent. And it doesn’t mind venturing into the second-hand car market to remain the king. 4Ps B&M analyses Mercedes’ pre-owned car trick!
 
Forget repeat purchase, repeat sales is the new found vernacular amongst those in the trade of luxury cars. Precisely four months back, Mercedes-Benz had started contacting its consumers in India (who had bought its cars about three to four years back), to discover with certainty whether they were willing to sell-off their used Mercedes automobile(s). The case history isn’t much different in the overseas markets. But unlike any other Merc-driven muse of history, this one has the Indian epic spoken with great ardor. It was christened the ‘Proven Exclusivity program’, and little under a year of this new found strategy being implemented in the West to increase market penetration, Mercedes decided to try out the recipe in India.

Two months after the first Mercedes customer was contacted (in April 2010), the first lot of pre-owned cars was ready to hit the Indian market. Many believe that this is a defensive act that will translate into greater command over market share for Merc. They are right. Call it beating a retreat, but this was an expected strategy, especially after Mercedes was displaced by BMW in 2009 (in terms of unit sales) as the king of the Indian luxury car market. But as destiny would desire, Mercedes is today back at the numero uno spot after being left behind in the sweepstakes for a few months.

A few months back, Peter Kronschabl, the-then President of BMW India had told 4Ps B&M, “Getting to the top position is easier compared to the efforts that go in retaining it, especially when it comes to the Indian market.” Mercedes has seemingly learnt its lesson, and is today not only retaining its feathered hat but also growing through innovative schemes, with the ‘Proven Exclusivity program’ being the first card to be drawn out in the process.

According to data released by Mercedes-Benz, the company has sold close to 2449 vehicles during the first half of 2010, which is 12.2% more than what its closest competitor BMW could manage. [Even BMW had announced its entry into the used-car market more than a year back, but the company will take at least a few months before it makes significant headway in the pre-owned car market.]

“People in India have grown seeing Mercedes brand over the past many many years and we enjoy a very high aspirational value in the mind of the consumer,” explains Wilfried Aulbur, MD, Mercedes-Benz India to 4Ps B&M, while talking about the bounceback of the luxury brand in India.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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10/08/2011 9:20pm

Nothing is stopping this luxury car maker. It was reported that the company is having a dip in sales this year, but Mercedes-Benz still have hope that its world class model cars would never fail to conquer the hearts of the Indian car lovers. And understanding the fact that the company will have to face ups and downs in the business and the success lies in tacking and handling the situation well, Mercedes is ready for the war. And to reinforce its strong will the company has launched a new advanced version of its E-Class sedan in the country. The new E-Class sedan will have a diesel engine.

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10/08/2011 9:21pm

When it comes to dreaming of owning super luxury cars and luxury cars contrary to the popular environment friendly cars, people in India do not take a backseat.
In a global survey done by a research firm Synovate, at least 47 percent of Indians responded that they loved to flaunt luxury cars, while 30 percent of the people from India chose environment friendly cars.

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10/08/2011 9:23pm

The passion for luxury cars amongst the Indian public is also the reason why the top luxury car brands are flocking to India even though the market size is a puny 6,000-7000 units a year. Big luxury car brands like Mercedes Benz and BMW have established assembly plants in India. Meanwhile other exotic car brands like Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Bentley, Jaguar and Land Rover have a healthy market in India. Italian car manufacturer Fiat has already shown interest to bring in Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands to India.

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10/08/2011 9:25pm

Mercedes-Benz hopes that the Attention Assist safety feature will help cut down road accident caused due to drowsy driving. It is not known if Mercedes-Benz E-class sold in India will features the same technology.
If it does, it will set a new path for Indian car manufacturers. We hope the same system arrives in India at the earliest. Such a technology needs to be made mandatory on all cars to help save more lives lost in road accidents. It is proven that many road accidents are caused by drowsy drivers who are tired of fatigue and sleep.

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10/08/2011 9:36pm

Mercedes-Benz India has been the pioneer of the luxury car market in India for many decades. Period. The three-pointer star always was seen as a symbol of style and wealth. Even Now the name Mercedes holds a holy halo like no other car in India.
But it now appears that the spell is likely to be broken by fellow German luxury car manufacturers such as BMW and Audi. In the first quarter of this fiscal year, BMW and Audi sales scaled the peak, so high, so that they were very close to overtaking the Mercedes numbers. BMW sells nearly 3,000 cars in a year and Mercedes is just ahead of it by only 537 cars.

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29/07/2012 10:52pm

They have a good market sense and make strategies according to that . Going in to the second hand cars market is a good step from the manufactures.

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