Growing Luxury Car Market in India

India set its foot in the global automotive industry in 1898, with the first car rolled out in the streets of Mumbai. Since then, India has come a long way. Taking into Scrutiny the current statistics, automotive industry is now, the most dynamic sectors in India. The car market of India boasts of attractive finance schemes, increasing purchasing power and a vast variety of Luxury car range.

India being one of the lucrative hubs for the car market is attracting auto majors from all over the world. The count of people ready to buy these high sticker cars is gaining momentum. In effect to this, almost all the overseas manufacturers including Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Suzuki, and most recently Volkswagen have entered the fray. Ferrari’s announcement to roar into the India market from 2010 and Aston Martin’s aspirations to enter the Indian market soon next year also signals that the market has just picked up pace and there are great possibilities for these indulgent vehicles to thrill the Indians.

With Tata’s recent acquisition of Ford’s Land Rover and Jaguar brands, The Indian companies are in the right gear to compete with other global luxury brands making a rush in the country. Recent analysis show that India is now among the principal driving markets for the Asian automotive industry. The reasons for these unprecedented changes being in favour of India are quite a few.

The growing population of well heeled citizens in India emerges to be the primary cause. With the overall population being 1 billion, the 1% people who constitute the affluent society or the new ’Global Indians’ are estimated to be over 10 million, mainly because of the growing disposable income of India.

Secondly, Change in attitude of the customer accounts for the sudden acceleration in the Luxury car Market in India, as the emphasis has been shifted from price consideration and affordability to design, quality and pleasure. The Indians who believed in traditional savings now follow an extravagant approach.
Stepping down to the third possible reason, exposure and passion for speed, power and elegance run on to take their seats. With more and more Car rallies, exhibition, televising of Formula 1 and international motor shows happening in the country, these luxurious coupés have created an urge in drivers to experience comfort and control at the very same time.
Also, lower interest rates and good conditioned roads are some of the steps taken by the Indian government which fuelled the demand for ultra-luxury cars in Indian market. Now, penetrating into the future, we can adamantly say that, with the real GDP growth of India (8.8% in 2006) being outstanding, there are definite prospects of increasing count of Luxury car buyers. Growth in the luxury segment has been helped by an economy expanding at nearly 9 percent on average in the last four years, and the entry of new players and launches from the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Audi.
Audi, a German manufacturer of first-rate luxury cars and one of the world’s leading premium brands established Audi India under Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai in March 2007 and is all set to stay put in the country for an enduring tenure through their valuable investments in brand management, marketing and customer services.
Mercedes-Benz India has had a long standing tie up in India in the luxury car segment with its inception way back in 1995. Being the only luxury car maker in India to have such a wide range of cars, (S-class, E-class, M-class, CL-class and many more), it also provides an authentic choice for the customers with each model in petrol and diesel variants.
BMW, another world’s leading brand in the premium car segment, set its foot in India, just few years back. As its global record says, BMW in India, strives to achieve the same goal by presenting customers with Quality in conjunction with luxurious driving comfort.

Rolls-Royce, favored by Indian royalty during the imperial British rule returned in 2005 after a gap of 50 years with the Phantom super luxury sedan.

Ford’s Volvo launched of two of its most successful models, the S80 sedan and the XC90 SUV in both petrol and diesel variants, each promising to offer luxury with comfort.

Consequently, the picture seems to be apparently flaunting that the ’Global Indians’ are all ready to take the Luxury Car market to an all-new high and it has been well said – “For a luxury car to remain one, its features have to stay ahead of the innovative curve”.

This marks the beginning of an adventurous race between money and extravagance, which may go on forever…..

Sunakshi Shailendra

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