British carmaker Rolls-Royce expects more young entrepreneurs to buy its luxury cars in India, one of the top five markets for the company in Asia-Pacific. Sven J Ritter, general manager, Asia-Pacific, at Rolls Royce, in an interview with Rhik Kundu, says he sees significant growth in India as economic growth revives and more affluent people enter the super-rich category. The iconic carmaker launched its latest car, the Ghost Series II, in Mumbai on Friday. Excerpts:
What kind of growth do you expect in India?
At present, about 70% of India’s population is under 30. The economy is growing and so is the average salary of working professionals. There is an aspiration for our cars, especially with our strong heritage here. This makes us optimistic about strong demand. Our target audience are young entrepreneurs who want to reward themselves with a Rolls-Royce.
What kind of demand do you see for the Ghost Series II?
Robust. Ghost has been very strong in India. We launched the Ghost in 2011 here, after launching it worldwide in 2010. Though we have a lot of old Rolls-Royce regulars using our cars in India, we are also seeing the younger generation of entrepreneurs using our vehicles. This makes us optimistic on growth.
The overall luxury car market in India is $14 billion a year, according to Boston Consulting Group. How do you plan to increase your share in the segment?
Rolls-Royce is seeing sustainable growth in India. With five dealers, we have one of the largest networks in the luxury segment. We are looking for new opportunities as India is one of the biggest countries in terms of billionaires and high net-worth individuals.
Your parent company, BMW, has made inroads here in terms of network, dealership and marketing. Will we see greater synergy between Rolls-Royce and BMW in India?
Rolls-Royce is authentic, and it has its own engine. What we get from BMW is technical and engineering support. In the end, a Rolls-Royce will always be a Rolls-Royce, and vastly different from a BMW. We would like to keep it that way.