Premium automobile manufacturers eye small cities and towns in India

Monday 06 February 2012, 12:06 PM by

Automobile makers are eyeing small cities and towns of India as the markets witness a rise in demand, predominantly in the premium segment. Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, is one such city, which has become increasingly popular among car manufacturers. At the moment, Bhopal is hosting an Auto Expo, a four-day event, wherein around 14 big manufacturers, including Jaguar, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, BMW, Toyota, Nissan, Mahindra and Mahindra and Renault, are participating.

According to manufacturers and industry analysts, the auto market in the city is expanding at a fast rate due to the changing preferences of the young and rich for luxury cars. Nilesh Tiwari, BMW Sales Consultant, says “Our target to begin with is to sell 20 cars, but if the current trend is anything to follow, we will exceed expectations (in 2012)”.

Jaguar Land Rover is looking to finalise a dealer in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Sameer Ahsan, Sales Manager, says “Preliminary research indicated that customers from Madhya Pradesh purchase their luxury vehicles from other states. We are looking to fill this gap by creating a niche for our two brands, Jaguar and Land Rover.”

At the Auto Expo a Jaguar model costing Rs. 96 lacs (on-road price) was showcased. Land Rover, with price range starting from Rs. 41 lacs, has managed to sell around two models in the state and has received bookings for over a dozen ahead of the opening of the Indore showroom.

Mitsubishi Pajero has sold more models in Bhopal in comparison to other cities of the state, even more than Nagpur. As per S. M. Sheikh, Assistant Manager, Sales “We sell on an average eight Pajeros per month in Bhopal, which ranks higher than sales in Nagpur.” He further added that the demand for Pajeros and SUVs have increased tremendously. Mitsubishi, with its premium Lancer Evolution X that is also known as Evo 10, is all set to enter the Bhopal luxury automobile market.

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