Wednesday, July 06, 2011
By Pranjal Gera
Indian Luxury Car Market Expanding Slowly
Once considered a small car market, India was never in the radar of the luxury car makers of the world. The coin has flipped now. Now India is amongst one of the fastest growing car market in the world, which has taken many by surprise. Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Audi, BMW, Mercedese Benz ; all have set up their foot in India and the list is still expanding. BMW has topped the charts amongst all in car sales for last two years.
The 3 auto giants from Germany, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi have dominated the Indian luxury car market. All of them have lined up 8 to 10 car models to compete at every front of the segment, be it price or performance. Mercedes Benz C class, BMW 3Series and Audi A4, coming in the price bracket of Rs. 22lakh to Rs. 35lakhs start of the proceedings of the companies. Then come up the Benz E Class, BMW 5Series and Audi A6 in the price range of Rs. 35lakh to Rs. 60lakh.
Then comes the premium segment where cars come between Rs. 75lakhs to Rs. 1Crore with models like Benz S Class, BMW 7Series, Audi A8 and Jaguar XFR. The super luxury car segment boasts off some of the heavyweights from the auto industry like Bentley, Rolls Royce, Ferrari and all. The cars have superior engine specifications and higher standards of luxury and cost a fortune to buy them.
The surprising thing was to see BMW topping the segment even though they stepped in India in 2006 as compared to Mercedes Benz which has been in India for decades. The reason behind it is a big range of models and their effective marketing. Audi had set up a plant in Aurangabad the same year and has been a tough competitor since then. With an increasing number individuals possessing high net worth and growing disposable income amongst the people has been a reason behind the surge in Indian luxury car market.
When the whole world was down with recession, India was amongst a few that remained unaffected. The indian auto industry kept the recession away from Indian economy and thus provided people a chance to buy luxury cars. This made other car manufacturers around the world to jump into the Indian auto market.
Presently the car sales growth has slumped to single digit figures which may worry a few. Mercedes Benz and BMW each plan to sell 10,000 cars in the year 2011. Audi changed its earlier numbers of 4500 units to sales of 5000 units this year.