Luxury car sales in India pick up pace

Written by Yogima Seth | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 17 2009, 06:04am hrs
At a time when major car manufacturers in the country are working on low cost cars, the expensive luxury vehicles, priced over Rs 15 lakh and going up to Rs 50 lakh and including sport utility vehicles and luxury sedans, are catching the fancy of car enthusiasts in India.

So much is the demand that new products are overselling and the numbers have far exceeded the earlier estimates signaling a huge growth potential in the segment in India. This comes at a time when the once traditional markets, the US and Europe, for bigger and luxury cars, are fast moving towards small and fuel efficient vehicles.

For instance, BMW India has sold 63 units of X6 since its launch in July and another six units of Z4 in October and these new products are helping the company exceed its earlier set target of 3,000 units in India in 2009 against 2,908 units in 2008. In no other emerging market, BMW has taken leadership position in such a short time and this comes on the back of strong product line up, market expansion andbrand building, Abhay Dange, spokesperson, BMW India, said.

While tese are the high-end luxury cars priced around Rs 50 lakh, the demand for cars in the lower end of the segment like the Volkswagen Passat (around Rs 24 lakh), Toyota Fortuner (around Rs 20 lakh) and Honda CR-V (around Rs 22 lakh) is also reaching the levels that were beyond expectations. Toyota Fortuner, which was launched in August, saw a backlog of 3,100 units that were to be delivered in seven months as Toyota Kirloskar Motor could assemble 550 Fortuners a month. Volkswagen India may end up selling more Passats as against earlier target of 1,000 units.