SIPs eating into luxury car sales: Mercedes

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NEW DELHI: The luxury car industry has a new challenger – systematic investment plans (SIPs) – which give an easy entry to Indians into stock markets and debt savings through mutual funds.
As inflows into SIPs continue unabated, despite volatility in stock markets, disposable incomes into aspirational and premium products such as cars are not as widespread as they should be, says Santosh Iyer, sales & marketing head of Mercedes-Benz India.
While the luxury car industry is growing at one of its fastest pace post-pandemic, actual sales are a far cry from potential and wealth that India carries, Iyer said.

Iyer, who will be taking charge as MD & CEO of Mercedes’ India operations from January, says while there are 15,000 people inquiring about luxury cars every month, the actual order size is about 1,500 units. “So, there are still 13,500 customers who desire to own a Mercedes-Benz, but postpone their purchase thinking that it’s fine, maybe, I should continue (with) my SIP or maybe the next dip (in markets) is there.”
Iyer has been telling his sales teams to look into issue of SIP investments, so that his company can realise even higher growth rates. “They (SIPs) are our competitors. I tell my team if you are able to break that (SIP investment) cycle, then exponential growth is a given.”
Despite the fickle nature of markets and fears around recession and growing inflation, investments into SIPs are at all-time highs, according to numbers released by industry body Amfi. Monthly investments into SIPs crossed a record Rs 13,000 crore for the first time in October 2022, after consecutively crossing Rs 12,000 crore in the previous few months.

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