regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 November 2023

Problem of plenty for Mercedes Benz

Santosh Iyer says company will focus on top-end luxury segment as it brings more profitability

Anasuya Basu Calcutta Published 10.10.22, 02:40 AM
Mercedes Benz.

Mercedes Benz. File picture

Mercedes Benz India’s outgoing managing director and chief executive officer Martin Schwenk thinks the company’s portfolio of 25 cars should be “sharpened”.

No other luxury car maker offers so many models: BMW India, according to its website, offer 21 models, including two electric vehicles, while Audi India offers 14 models, according to its website.


Mercedes, which is the top-selling luxury brand for seven consecutive years, has performed well because of the vast offering it has both in SUV and sedan body styles, as well as in performance vehicles, analysts said.

The company started a blitzkrieg of launches in 2010 and has seen its sales rising continuously.

Schwenk said: “We are selling 15,000 cars with 25 models. If we can sell that many cars with 23 models it would make management of the portfolio much easier. The more vehicles we introduce in the portfolio, it adds to the complexity. There are that many processes to undergo. If a sharpened and reduced portfolio helps us to get the same amount or an increased amount of customer satisfaction, we will be more than happy.”

The company’s present marketing director Santosh Iyer who is set to succeed Schwenk as the MD and CEO said: “We will continue with all models. Gradually, internal combustion engine models will be replaced by electrical vehicles.”

Iyer had recently said the company would focus on the top-end luxury segment as it brings more profitability.

Asked if such a focus would help it reduce its portfolio to a manageable size, Schwenk said: “The general strategy is to focus on the top-end of the luxury segment.

“However, having said that we are going to operate in every segment.”

“We have a luxury product in every segment. For example, we now have an AMG in the electric vehicle (EV) segment, the EQS 5.4 AMG. We will do what is profitable. There will be a little reduction in the entry segment and a wider portfolio in the top-end segment.”

“Obviously a larger SUV gives us more profitability than a smaller SUV. But we are still making good profit with the GLA-Class,” Schwenk said.

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