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In business, you never know where competition can spring from. For Mercedes-Benz India, it’s from an unlikely avenue: the mutual fund industry. In the analysis of Santosh Iyer, the company’s sales and marketing chief, would-be buyers of its luxury cars have been putting money into systematic investment plans instead. Actual sales recorded by the marque don’t adequately reflect the wealth in the country, he observed. Odd as this may sound, it isn’t inconceivable. For one, many big earners would rather multiply their money than spend it. Delayed gratification has always been held as a virtue, and rising stock markets add appeal to the idea. For another, the automotive world is in flux right now. The threat of climate change is pushing personal transport away from the use of fossil fuels, but a transition to cleaner options is yet to offer a satisfactory range of choices that would attract a diverse and well-segmented target audience for fancy sets of wheels. The EQS range of Mercedes EVs has been a major head-turner, no doubt. But some luxury-category consumers may have seen the wisdom in waiting to see what else will soon be available in India. Till then, investments beckon.

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