Duty on Indian cars imported cars in India outrageous: Mercedes-Benz India MD | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Duty on Indian cars imported cars in India outrageous: Mercedes-Benz India MD

Agencies | New Delhi

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Mercedes-Benz has echoed rival Tesla’s call to reduce duties on imported cars in India, calling the levies “outrageous”. The German carmaker said this duty needs to be reduced lest “customers get penalised by buying the cars at double of what buyers in US and other western markets pay”.

Martin Schwenk, the MD of Mercedes-Benz in India said the import duties in the country are extremely high and should be decreased to help the market.

“It is not possible to localise all new technologies, including electrics, due to the low volume of cars sold here. We can’t get customers at these duty levels,” Schwenk told Times of India.

Supporting Tesla’s call for reducing duty on imported cars, he added, that duties should be reduced on all kinds of high-technology luxury cars and not just electric cars, he added.

It was earlier reported that Tesla, in a letter to India's Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), stated that the effective import tariff of 110% on vehicles with a custom value of above $40,000 is “prohibitive” to zero-emissions vehicles. It further requested the government to standardise tariff on EVs to 40% and remove the social welfare surcharge of 10% on electric cars.

It said these changes would boost the production of the electric vehicles ecosystem in India and the company will make significant investments in developing sales, service and charging infrastructure and ramp up procurement from Indian players for its global operations. The Palo Alto, California-based auto manufacturer also said that these proposals will have no bearing on India’s domestic manufacturers as none of the local Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)  manufacture vehicles with an ex-factory price tag of $40,000 and just 1-2% have ex-factory, customs value above $40,000.

Prior to this, Tesla boss Elon Musk in a Twitter statement had said that his company was ready to set up manufacturing plants in India but asked the government for a "temporary relief" in import duties which he described as "highest in the world".