Slow but steady increase in sales of luxury cars in India

Tuesday 03 July 2012, 12:08 PM by

Few years back, it was hard to see luxury cars on Indian roads but nowadays the penchant for same has increased, be it a metropolitan or any other major city. In past two years, the sales of luxury cars in India have been slower than anticipated. Fluctuations in economy, steep rise in fuel prices, and high interest rates are the reasons behind such crawling pace. All luxury cars in Rs. 20 lacs bracket or above are experiencing the heat of this slow rise.

In the last five months, the sales have slumped even further, disappointing auto companies. The first five months of 2012, ending in May, witnessed a growth of mere 10 per cent as compared to that of 80 per cent recorded during the same period in 2010. These five months were slowest months for luxury car sales in the last two years.

During the same period, Mercedes Benz, the German luxury car maker's sales dropped by 22 per cent to 2500 units when evaluated against the corresponding tenure last year. There has been no dearth of enquiries from customers but conversion of enquiries into sales remained fairly less. The rate of interest has risen from 8 per cent to 11 per cent, whereas the import duty surged from 110 per cent to 140 per cent, and both have contributed to the lesser sales of luxury cars.

Another luxury car manufacturer, BMW also faced the same scenario with an increase of mere 10 per cent, amounting to 3707 units during January to May 2012. In the same period last year, the car maker witnessed an increase of 90 per cent. Similarly, during the same period, Audi's sales in India stood at 3,281 units, marking an increase of 37 per cent when compared with figures of last year.

Considering the hike in petrol prices, all manufacturers have shifted their focus on diesel models. When compared with the records of last two years, the Indian car portfolio of Mercedes Benz included 60 per cent diesel cars, while 40 per cent accounted for petrol vehicles. However in the current scenario, their portfolio incorporates just 10 per cent petrol cars and rest are dedicated towards the diesel models.