Mercedes Falls Behind BMW In India

mercedes falls behind bmw in india

If you hear a loud screeching noise coming from the Stuttgart area, that’ll probably be Dieter Zetsche berating his Asian management team. The Economic Times of India reported that the Mercedes-Benz marque has lost its leadership of the luxury car segment in India to BMW after nearly ten years on top. Daimler also posted a 10.43% decline in sales in India, as volume fell to 3,247 units (if that doesn’t seem like much, consider that Mercedes also trails BMW in China by about 60k units to about 90k). And just like that, out come the excuses: “We are behind BMW in 2009 because of limited availability of our E-Class car … I don’t want to focus on leadership. We want to have a profitable growth,” Mercedes Benz India Managing Director and CEO Wilfried Aulbur told reporters. “We see a very strong growth in 2009 and it will be a blockbuster year for us. We are very bullish and we expect, it will be a high double-digit growth.”

However, Daimler have not hit the (semi) nuclear option of offering discounts to move vehicles. Wilfried Aulbur said “The focus is on profitable growth, overall discount is detrimental and it is not our focus. Just to generate volume is not a good strategy.” Herr Aulbur also believes that lack of uniform taxes on cars are also to blame. Aulbur said, “We need fair treatment across the line that will lead to volume and it will lead to investment. I want uniform tax for all car.” . According to the Economic Times of India, small cars are subject to an 8% excise duty while bigger cars are levied at 20%, with an additional 15,000 Indian Rupees for cars having engines between 1500cc and 2000cc, while cars with engines bigger than 2000cc have to pay 20000 Indian Rupees. Is Herr Aulbur seriously suggesting that a Hyundai i10 should have the same tax as a Mercedes-Benz E class? With logic like that, no wonder they’re losing market share in India.

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  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Jan 04, 2010

    I wish that Herr Zetsche would focus less on production volume, and more on the quality of build and materials. The Mercedes-Benzes I coveted as I was growing up had two key characteristics: Rock-solid quality and relative scarcity. Those things well justified their premium price.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Jan 04, 2010

    Mercedes' problem is that they're not really able to understand that they make mistakes. All of the German marques do this, but Daimler is the worst: in their minds, everything they do is brilliant. On top of that, there's whole rafts of people who've built their careers enforcing this echo chamber. You can't fight this once it's taken hold, because any sign of reticence or admission of fault is seen as a critical weakness. You can never be wrong, because if you're wrong about one thing, you might be wrong about everything. So you make damn sure you're never seen as being wrong, and you build the house of cards ever higher until it collapses spectacularly. If this sounds a lot like the D3 in general, and the General in particular, it should.

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.