Luxury car sales in India remained flat throughout the year in spite of some new launches and attractive discounts
In spite of some attractive discounts that were offered on the luxury cars in India, sales remained quite lacklustre throughout the year, with a collective growth by luxury carmakers registered at just 4.9%. Total sales of luxury car models from Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Volvo stood at 40,863 units in 2018, up by less than 2,000 units from 38,950 units sold in 2017.
The reasons behind the less growth include liquidity issues, increased insurance premium, and the higher lending rates during the second half of the year. This led to a negative buying sentiment. Also, it’s being said that the current year won’t be any better due to the factors like the coming elections.
So far, with the exception of 2016, when sales stooped by 4.68 per cent, luxury car sales in India have been scaling new heights for many years. While most of the luxury carmakers reported a decent growth, the overall sales remained low owing to an almost negligible growth by Mercedes Benz.
While it sold the highest number of cars among all the companies, its growth rate, at 1.4%, is as good as negligible. The highest growth was posted by Volvo India, which sold 2,638 cars in 2018, up by 30 per cent as compared to 2,029 cars sold in 2017. Next in line is Jaguar Land Rover India, which reported a luxury car sale of 4,596 units, up by 16.2 per cent as compared to 3,954 units sold in 2017 (highest for the company in India).
BMW India, which sold 11,105 units in 2018, reported a growth of 13 per cent as compared to 9,800 luxury car sales that were sold in 2017. Audi India sold 6,986 units in 2018, down by 10.8 per cent as compared to 7,837 units sold in 2017.
Speaking on the dull sales performance by his company, Martin Schwenk, managing director and chief executive officer, Mercedes-Benz India, said that the low sales growth in luxury car sale is owing to “strong macro-economic headwind.” He also said, “We made a strong comeback in the fourth quarter and were able to achieve a year-on-year growth.”
On the other hand, Rohit Suri, President and MD, JLR India said in spite of the challenging conditions, the growth of JLR India “has been very encouraging.” Market experts are projecting a low luxury car sale growth even for 2019 owing to the fast-approaching elections.