India’s largest luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is getting its first Indian MD. Santosh Iyer, as he succeeds Martin Schwenk as the company’s new Managing Director and CEO with effect from January 1, 2023. He’s currently Vice-President, Sales & Marketing.
Schwenk—who joined the India team in November 2018—will move on to take up new responsibilities as the President & CEO, Mercedes-Benz, Thailand. He was instrumental in preparing the company for its future, by transforming the retail business model, while inculcating a transparent, people centric, flat organisational culture, the company said.
Iyer played a huge role in strengthening the company’s pole position in India and has been associated with Mercedes-Benz since 2009 in various leadership roles across functions. The company said that he successfully led Mercedes-Benz’s digital transformation of the business, retaining the market leadership and establishing online sales. He is also credited for demonstrating remarkable leadership in managing the business and steering it to a profitable growth during the pandemic.
“Subsequently, he also played a vital role in conceptualizing and implementing the now industry benchmark ‘Retail of the Future’ business model. During his current tenure, Santosh laid a strong foundation for Data analytics and pioneered online sales with its share now exceeding 15 per cent of total sales,” Mercedes-Benz India said.
Last week, the company launched its all-electric performance luxury sedan, Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC, at a price starting at Rs 2.45 crore (all India ex-showroom prices). At the launch Schwenk said that Mercedes-Benz expects 25 per cent of its sales in India to come from electric vehicles in the next five years. It will be launching three electric vehicles in the next four months as part of the strategy to accelerate its electric mobility journey in the country including the locally-assembled all-electric sedan EQS 580 next month followed by a seven-seater electric SUV, EQB around November. Iyer has his task cut out for him.
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