The super luxury segment in India may be a small fraction of the potential sales in the passenger vehicle space, but “the potential is immense” says Sharad Agarwal, Head, Lamborghini India.
Speaking to Express Mobility, Agarwal says, that Lamborghini is just not a vehicle manufacturing company but a lifestyle brand. He agrees that when it comes to sales of luxury vehicles, especially in the super luxury category the “retail sales number does not reflect the true potential” of India.
“One of the biggest challenges for the industry is that India has always been a market where we have seen inconsistent change in duties. It’s still not perceived very positively (owning a super luxury car) in our country. The last peak retail sales in the segment was 325 cars in 2018. If you compare the sales in smaller countries like Thailand, they see much more sales,” shares Agarwal.
Looking at the other brands in the super luxury segment or in the premier segment, he says the “biggest struggle has been to not being able to grow beyond a point.” This is in contrast with the fact that India with its diverse population with a significant number of people with high disposable income or high net worth individuals.
Just like every other segment, the demand for SUVs and in the case of Lamborghini the Urus continues to remain one of the most demanded products. In terms of retail sales, Lamborghini globally has sold over 20,000 Urus SUVs. And when it comes to India, Lamborghini has sold over 400 cars till date, and the Urus has contributed majority of sales.
“I think SUV is the preferred body style today, right from the entry level to super luxury segment. And that is why you know when we had the Urus, we knew that this is going to be a game changer for us because firstly, it is a preferred body style and it is growing is with respect to the preference among the customer. It also helps us to address some of the challenges what we have in the Indian industry for instance the congestion on Indian roads. It is a very unique product because it combines the versatility of an SUV with the driving dynamics and the emotions of a super sports car,” shares Agarwal.
He reveals that “80% of the buyers for the Urus in India are first time buyers for the Lamborghini brand. This is clearly showing that how it has helped us to expand the customer base.”
At present, there are more than 40 cities in India, where Lamborghini has delivered its vehicles, with new geographies like Shillong in Guwahati, Bhuvneshwar, Salem, Kanpur and Lucknow among others.
Stigma around luxury car owners and personalisation
The Italian luxury brand needs no introduction and thus its customers know exactly what they are buying into when picking their car. An interesting observation that can be seen is that in the last four years, Lamborghini India has seen its customers base evolving from fourth-fifth generation business family to first generation entrepreneurs. In fact, a lot many women customers have also started buying Lamborghini cars.
“The typical age of a Lamborghini buyer is between 25-45 years, and with the Urus it has gone upto 55-years,” shares Agarwal.
But on the other hand, one of the painpoints that Agarwal mentions for the super luxury segment is that “there is a stigma around wealth creators in the country. Somewhere people still face the dilemma of ‘Should I buy something expensive like this and about their image and about their perception?’. I think it is time for us that we as a country should start celebrating wealth creators more and we should build a positive perception about them.”
Coming to the lighter side of the conversation, he said that an Indian customer typically spends about 25-30 per cent of the value of the car on customising/personalising their Lamborghini to reflect their image, lifestyle or persona.