German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz recently said it expects as much as a quarter of its sales in India to come from online bookings as tech-savvy customers look for more digital engagement in their purchases.
Announcing a series of customer-centric initiatives as part of the Mercedes-Benz global sales initiatives here, the company’s Indian arm chief Martin Schwenk said that the digital initiatives are aimed at making car buying as easy as ordering food online.
“With these initiatives, we expect 25 per cent of our sales from online bookings by 2025,” Schwenk said.
“With the advent of digitisation the customer needs are rapidly changing, and we are already taking key steps towards creating a luxury customer experience to stay ahead of the curve. These novel initiatives promise our customers seamless communication. We are more than prepared to excite our customers with our offerings,” he said.
As part of this, the company announced the roll-out of the e-commerce platform in India for both pre-owned and new cars along with digital connectivity to its customers in India, where it enjoys the leadership position in the luxury segment.
While the e-commerce solutions for pre-owned was rolled out on Tuesday, the same for new cars is set to be launched from January 1, the company announced here.
He said Mercedes-Benz India welcomes the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy of the government, which has enabled the company in deciding to roll out its e-commerce initiatives, which will cover new cars, pre-owned cars and also a wide range of accessories.
“We are confident this initiative will add convenience to our customers and will be an additional revenue source for our dealers. It will lead to higher synergies and drive efficiency along the supply chain,” he said.
“While rolling-out the different customer experience initiatives in India, Mercedes-Benz India being a customer centric organisation has taken utmost care of protecting and storing confidential customer data and privacy requirements, he said.
‘Me Connect, which will bring the car and car showroom on a customer’s smartphone will be offered in three phases over a period of time ranging from On Board Diagnosis (OBD) port-based adapter solution, ex-factory e-sim based cloud connectivity solution to an intuitive and intelligent virtual assistant Hey Mercedes.
In Phase I, we will be connecting all Mercedes-Benz cars in India from 2007 onwards with the Mercedes me Adapter, available from November 15. In the near future, Phase II will see the roll-out of Mercedes me connect available ex-factory across select cars, and Phase III will witness the launch of smart virtual assistant Mercedes-Benz User Experience - Hey Mercedes! he added.
Few Months back, the German luxury car maker launched the BS-VI compliant Long Wheelbase E-Class sedan in India priced between Rs 57.5 lakh and Rs 62.5 lakh. The New Long Wheelbase E-Class features two BS-VI compliant petrol and diesel engines along with a host of new interior features, Mercedes-Benz India said.
The petrol version is powered by a 1,991-cc engine delivering 197 horsepower (HP) and comes in two variants priced at Rs 57.5 lakh and Rs 61.5 lakh, respectively. On the other hand, the diesel version has a 1,950-cc engine delivering 194HP and comes in two options priced at Rs 58.5 lakh and Rs 62.5 lakh, respectively (all prices ex-showroom).
Mercedes-Benz India MD and CEO Martin Schwenk said the company had rolled out India’s first ‘Made in India, for India’ BS-VI vehicle in January 2018. “Since then, we have been steadily transitioning our portfolio into BS-VI and the introduction of the BS-VI long-wheelbase E-Class reiterates our commitment towards the new emission norms from April 2020,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)