Italian carmaker Maserati is targetting India's tier II and III cities, which are proving to be catalysts in spurring demand for super luxury brands, as it looks to strengthen foothold in the country, according to a senior company official.
The company, which re-entered India in 2015, has also overhauled its after sales and service support as part of its renewed focus on customer experience.
"Maserati has seen a hike in demand in smaller cities although traditionally we enjoyed steady patronage in the metros.
"Even though the expansion in terms of physical network presence in these cities depends on our partners," Maserati APAC head Bojan Jankulovski told PTI in an emailed interview.
Replying to a query on the company's plans for expansion in India, he said, "Maserati is pushing for the demand for its product offerings in Tier-II and Tier-III Indian market...India is an extremely diverse country."
While the affluence and wide reach of India's metros cannot be ignored for growing top lines, Jankulovski said, "...we are seeing a new wave of demand coming from non-metro and Tier II cities as well - Lucknow, Kanpur, Indore, Bhopal, Mangalore, Chandigarh, Goa and many more."
These cities have the "potential to continue providing sizable opportunities in the future too and are proving to be catalysts in spurring demand for super luxury brands".
An evolved customer base, coupled with higher disposable income, is leading to growth of these emerging markets, he added.
"Over the past year, Maserati has witnessed an increased demand from these Tier II cities.
"With the current range of products that we offer, we are very optimistic about the Indian market," Jankulovski said.
At present, Maserati sells a range of models, including Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans, Levante SUV and GranTurismo and GranCabrio sports cars with prices starting from Rs 1.15 crore.
On the future launch plans in India, he said super sports car, Maserati MC20 is expected in the country in the first quarter of 2022 while that of Levante Hybrid is slated for launch in the fourth quarter of 2021.
"Furthermore, there is the launch of the Trofeo range of Levante and Quattroporte which is a big focus for us in the Indian market.
"Armored with one of the most powerful engines ever fitted in a Maserati it is built around a V8 engine and the Levante is one of the fastest SUVs ever built, boasting a top speed of 304 km/hr.
"India launch is expected in Q3 2021," he added.
Besides, the new Maserati SUV which is "destined to play a key role for the brand" is in the pipeline but the India launch is yet to be announced.
Bullish on the Indian luxury car market, he said it "is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 15-20 per cent over the next 5 years.
"With the growth of the affluent segment and the increase in the standard of living, the evolving consumers are laying focus on whether the brand resonates with their personality and lifestyle choices."
As for Maserati, he said, "As a super luxury brand, distinguishing ourselves is imperative.
"For us at Maserati, we believe it's the exclusivity and craftsmanship that sets us apart. We ensure that our customisations are tailored to suit the client and his needs."
Jankulovski said since re-entering India in 2015, Maserati has had a renewed focus on customer experience and invested time to research the market, choose suitable partners and enhance accessibility across key growth markets.
"We have actively been bringing global launches and updated variants of our flagship models to India.
"We have also held consistent brand activation programs and overhauled our after sales and service support which has helped us create a superior ownership experience and enhanced brand recall for Maserati in the country," he added.
On the growth that the company has witnessed in India, Jankulovski said there has been a "sizeable surge in demand" for Maserati India in the first six months of 2021 without disclosing numbers.
"However, I can say that we are expecting a very strong 2021 vis-a-vis 2020 and 2019," he added.