When luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz inaugurated its first Northeast dealership in Guwahati early this month, it delivered cars to 20 customers on Day 1. These bookings were done over a month before the opening on December 7. The country’s biggest player in the luxury car segment, Mercedes, along with Audi and BMW, has of late discovered the rising significance of this hitherto undeserved market.
A total of 350-400 luxury cars
is estimated to be sold annually in the Northeastern states, primarily Assam. This is a small share, considering approximately 35,000 luxury vehicles
get sold in the country every year. But, companies, eager to grow volumes, do not want to let go of any growth opportunity. Luxury carmakers
have faced challenges in the National Capital Region, the biggest market in the past one year, due to an eight-month ban (by Supreme Court) on the sale of 2,000cc diesel
“Guwahati remains the gateway and a commercial hub of the entire Northeast, which is gradually emerging as a potential luxury
car market. Our burgeoning customer base in this region has convinced us that it is the right time for Mercedes-Benz
to expand its presence in the Northeast,” said Roland Folger, managing director and chief executive officer at Mercedes-Benz.
More than a hundred Mercedes cars
are present in the region. Folger expects this number to double within a year. “Assam
is famous for its tea industry and the oil sector is also significant. The local business community’s affinity towards luxury
will drive this growth,” Folger said. The sales, service and spares dealership of Mercedes is spread over 36,000 sq ft.
Until March last year, when Audi
opened its first outlet in Guwahati, the entire market was being served by dealerships based out of Kolkata and Bhubaneswar. However, the cars
purchased by buyers in Northeast
could not come all the way to Kolkata to be serviced in a company-owned service centre. This limited the interest of many potential buyers.
India was an emerging and growing market and looking at Audi’s strong acceptance in this region, Audi
India had introduced the first luxury
car showroom in Guwahati to strengthen foothold in this region, Audi
said in response to an e-mail.
is learnt to be working on its first dealership in the Northeastern region, though the company did not confirm or deny it. “Northeast
is certainly one of the most important markets in India and continues to play an important role in BMW’s growth strategy. We believe the region has tremendous potential for the luxury
car market in India,” said a company spokesperson.
Article source : www.business-standard.com/article/companies/luxury-carmakers-begin-journey-to-northeast-116121800685_1.html#