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Rediff.com  » Business » Luxury car lovers spoilt for choice in classy rides

Luxury car lovers spoilt for choice in classy rides

May 16, 2016 11:15 IST

Bentayga

IMAGE: The Bentayga is one of the five super luxury models (priced above Rs 1 crore or Rs 10 million) that made their debut in the country in the first few months of this year. Photograph: Kind courtesy, CarDekho.

A healthy demand has prompted luxury brands such as Ferrari, Aston Martin, Maserati, Bentley and Lamborghini to drive into the country.

Even before British luxury car maker Bentley launched the Bentayga in the country last month, all the 20 cars -- each priced at Rs 3.58 crore (Rs 35.8 million) -- allotted to India were sold off.

The Bentayga is one of the five super luxury model (priced above Rs 1 crore or Rs 10 million) that made their debut in the country in the first few months of this year.

Now, those who can afford these sleek models are spoilt for choice (see chart).

And, a healthy demand has prompted luxury brands such as Ferrari, Aston Martin, Maserati, Bentley and Lamborghini to drive into the country.

Mercedes Benz AMG C63

IMAGE: The Rs 1.3-crore Mercedes Benz AMG C63. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Mercedes Benz

Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Volvo were already here.

In the past four months, launches of luxury and super luxury cars have sped ahead of launches in non-luxury one.

Lalit Choudary, managing director, Infinity Cars, said, “We just delivered the Aston Martin Vanquish, priced at Rs 7 crore (Rs 70 million) to a Mangalore-based buyer.

"We sold between eight and 10 cars in the past 12 months, whereas in 2014, we sold six or seven cars only. The last few months have been pretty good.”

Audi

IMAGE: Audi A3. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Audi.

Aston -- an “invisible” model of which was made famous in the 2002 James Bond flick Die Another Day -- operates in the price band of Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 6 crore.

But, Aston Martins are not the only one disappearing from the showrooms of dealers and seller into the garages of the owners.

Notwithstanding, 184-per cent import tax Lamborghini, went ahead with the launch of the Huracan Spyder early this month. It is priced at Rs 3.89 crore.

The convertible sports car has a top speed of 324 kmph. Buyers have pre-booked it, even as 135 Lamborgs are already burning rubber on Indian roads.

Image: BMW celebrates #MakeInIndia with Sachin. Photograph, courtesy: BMW India/Twitter.

IMAGE: Image: Sachin Tendulkar was helped by the engineers at German-headquartered BMW's Chennai plant tried his hands in assembling a BMW car. Photograph: BMW India/Twitter.

The sustained growth in demand, despite a jump of 50 to 70 per cent in prices because of tax rise and unfavourable movement of money, for super luxury cars in the past five years is remarkable, claim experts.

Now, Tier-II and –III residents are fuelling the growth.

Some of these purchases are being made by selling lands.     

Kumar Kandaswami, senior director, Deloitte India, said, “

The year ahead looks promising for luxury cars. With corporate profits expected to improve, luxury car acquisition as a part of compensation could go up.”

He also said: “Businessmen are likely to be motivated by the growth that seems to be happening and will enter the market.

"The postponement in buying in the last year will result in demand now.

"The lowering interest rates will help.”

Luxury cars priced below Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) are also selling very well.

Mercedes-Benz sold more than 13,500 units in 2015 -- more than Fiat -- recording a growth of 32 per cent year-on-year.

The E-Class and C-Class emerged as top volume drivers, along with the compact range of A, B, GLA and CLA-Class vehicles.

Luxury carsRoland Folger, managing director and chief executive officer, Mercedes-Benz India, said, “India is the only market outside of Germany to locally produce the Maybach S500.

"Market response to it remains overwhelming.

"The Mercedes-Maybach S 600 has been sold out even before its launch and the S 500 already has a waiting list.”

He added: “We have more demand for the car than we can produce it here in our plant.”

Ferrari

IMAGE: Image: Ferrari 488 GTB. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Ferrari.

The S 500 costs Rs 1.7 crore (Rs 17 million) in Mumbai. 

Audi sold nearly 11,200 units in 2015 with a growth of three per cent.

Former leader BMW had sales of 6,890 units with a one per cent growth last year.

In 2015, luxury vehicle sales in India stood at 35,300 units, according to industry consultant IHS Automotive.

Actress Katrina Kaif poses with a Jaguar car

IMAGE: Actress Katrina kaif poses with a Jaguar car. Photograph: Reuters

The segment is expected to grow to 87,300 units by 2020.

According to a survey by consultants IMRB, among all the luxury products researched, ownership of luxury cars is the highest.

The report said: “About 60 per cent of HNIs in Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns own a car (priced) above Rs 35 lakh (Rs 3.5 million).

"Ownership of such cars is higher in the high-income group (annual income above Rs 1.5 crore or Rs 15 million).

Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities have emerged as a major market for luxury car makers and the next phase of growth would probably come from this segment.”

Swaraj Baggonkar in Mumbai
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