luxury car sales: Newly minted Indian billionaires give major leg-up to super-luxury car sales


India’s newly minted billionaires are closing purchases on a fast clip, making business soar for super luxury car makers post the two waves of the pandemic.

Super luxury car sales, defined as those priced upwards of Rs 2 crore, are expected to breach pre-pandemic peaks last seen in 2018, in the ongoing calendar year, driven by a widening customer base, geographic reach and expansive product portfolio on offer for the well-heeled by global manufacturers.

Italian super luxury car maker Lamborghini has seen handsome bookings inflow despite global economic uncertainties. The company sold out the allocation for the current year and is on-track to post best-ever sales in the country.

“We have entered 2022 with a very strong order book. From what we have seen in the first five months, the trend looks positive. I anticipate that this year the industry should cross the (earlier) benchmark,” said Lamborghini India Head Sharad Agarwal.

As many as 325 cars priced above Rs 2 crore were sold in 2018. Demand petered out at the onset of the pandemic and sales halved to 185 units in 2020. Sales have since rebounded strongly in the past few months and are now expected to peak in 2022.

“These numbers do not reflect the potential of the market for super luxury cars. India is adding the second highest number of billionaires in the world. Earlier, we were selling our cars to third/fourth generation businessmen. Now, our buyers are first generation businessmen, entrepreneurs, women. The customer base has expanded”, he said on the sidelines of the launch of Aventador Ultimae Roadster priced between Rs 8-10 crore.

At German luxury carmaker Mercedes Benz share of high-end luxury cars priced over Rs 1 crore in overall volumes has more than doubled to 29% this year, from 12% in 2018. Martin Schwenk, managing director at Mercedes Benz India said nearly a third of the 5000 pending orders are for vehicles tagged upwards of Rs 1 crore.

“We are seeing a clear shift upwards, also because of the products we are offering at the higher end of the market”, he said, adding that sales in this segment will grow faster than the overall market at least by 20-25%. Mercedes Benz sold 2000 cars priced above Rs 1 crore (ex-showroom) in 2021.

Although the pain of rising cost is evident in the small ticket purchase and entry level vehicle segment, it has been unable to impact consumer spending at the premium end of the market. The luxury car market in India is sitting on pending orders of over 10,000 units. And despite the wait, BMW India President Vikram Pawah said in a recent interaction that demand momentum in the local market remains strong, with sales growing by 36% till April 2022.

“There is a greater realization among people to live life to the fullest and enjoy the best things since the pandemic. Personal mobility is on the rise.”



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