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CEO of Mercedes-Benz Ukraine Yaroslav Prigara: the premium is always restored quickly

In 2017, a 802.11 new passenger car was sold in Ukraine, the market grew by 24.5%. Did your forecasts for 2017 come true and what is the forecast for this year?

– The dynamics of the market was in the framework of those forecasts that we built. The same applies to our sales plans, and not only the car market, but also minibuses and trucks. Perhaps for us there was a small revelation in the growth of the truck market. But from the point of view of planned indicators, dynamics, market share and the achievement of the results that we set for ourselves – everything was within the framework of the plan.

Regarding the year 2018. We know how the market used to be (I’m currently unscrewing 5-10 years ago) and we understand that its potential is really huge. Therefore, everything will depend more on economic factors. We would like (and we are counting on it) for the market to overstep the bar at 100 thousand cars. That would be great.

– The Ukrainian market has grown by a quarter, while your main segment, the premium segment, is only 16%. At the same time, the luxury layer is generally at all 168%. What are the main reasons for such disharmony? Do rich Ukrainians stop being ashamed to buy cars of the highest (more than $ 100 thousand) price range?

– It is important to consider several factors. I do not think that when we speak for the premium segment, it makes sense to look only at last year. Because if we look at 2016, we will see that this segment grew much faster than the rest of the market. And it always happens: if you look at each of the crisis periods, we will see that the premium recovered much faster than the others. If we speak for more expensive cars, then yes – there is such a trend. I do not want to say the word “fear”, but everyone understands – life goes on.

– Following the results of 2017, Mercedes-Benz Ukraine is again not in its usual place, losing to both traditional competitors. What did Audi and BMW do to lead the premium sector and what didn’t you do?

– If you noticed, no one has published press releases regarding leadership in the premium segment. Because registration results differ only in a few cars. Moreover, if you look at the results of registrations of several agencies, you will see that the arrangement is also different. Therefore, the registration issue is very subtle. I would not say now who is the first, who is the second and who is the third, when the difference is 2-3-5-7 cars on three thousand cars.

– In the top-10, six brands immediately increased their sales by a quarter, Mercedes – only by 17%. Why? After all, you have a real explosion on the market of commercial vehicles – you have almost doubled your share.

– Because the premium segment grew in Ukraine last year more slowly than the rest. If you look at 2016, you will see the opposite situation. And this, as I said, is a common situation, when first the premium recovers faster than other segments and then slows down. Well, it is not a secret to anyone that the past year was quite unusual in terms of price positioning of a number of brands. And there are segments in which we have never worked and do not plan to work.

– AvtoKapital now and then becomes the best distributor of Daimler AG for the year. How does this correlate with market share?

– There are a number of parameters that the manufacturer analyzes, voicing them before the start of each year. They include multi-indicators – ranging from sales of niche cars and ending with the dynamics of growth in sales and market share. Based on this complex indicator, the winners are determined both at the end of each quarter and at the end of the year. We are proud that in 2016 and in 2017. we managed to win this award.

– There was a time when the importers said: “we won the gray market.” Now a new attack – “euro lubes”. Can importers influence legislation? If so, what levers (apart from common sense) do they have?

– We live in an open society, we have the opportunity to express our position and hope that our voices will be heard. But the situation in our country is rather strange in a number of parameters. It is very unusual when someone pays taxes, and someone can not pay them. Someone can not violate traffic rules, and someone can – I mean the road users on cars that are in Ukraine is de facto illegal.

– On January 1, 2017, electric cars were exempt from import duties, a year later, they were zero VAT and excise tax. How much do you think cheaper electric cars?

– Just yesterday evening, I read the report of one of the European agencies, which consisted in the forecast of different manufacturers on the development of the direction of electric vehicles in the world. And they all boil down to the fact that currently, from a rational point of view, an electric car has not yet become an effective tool. So it will be an electric car for 10-15% in Ukraine cheaper or more expensive – from this it will not be an effective solution.

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