Luxury car you’d buy in India, other than Audi, BMW and Merc
Slowly & steadily, other luxury marques are chipping away at the market-share of the Germans. There are several contributors to that emerging trend.
Historically, the big 3 German marques – Audi + BMW + Mercedes – have dominated the luxury car segment in India, controlling over 90% of the sales volumes. In the recent past however, that has started to change. Slowly & steadily, other luxury marques are chipping away at the market-share of the Germans. There are several contributors to that emerging trend:
– The other luxury brands have stepped up the game with truly wonderful cars! Drive the new S60 and you will be rather impressed. Porsche now offers practicality via its new crossovers.
– They have ramped up investments in India.
– Many luxury car customers are looking for something “different”. A few are also bored of owning the same German brands over & over again.
– Missteps by the Germans themselves have contributed to customers looking elsewhere. As an example, Audi India is a shadow of its former self. BMW’s ugly radiator grille design is a major deal-breaker for me personally.
– Tech: The hybrids of Lexus, offroad capability of Range Rovers, EVs of Tesla…
– Then of course, there are several customers who prefer not to own a flashy brand for personal / business reasons. They will gravitate toward cars like the Camry (a Lexus in disguise) or Superb (an Audi in disguise) which offer you 70% of the luxury car experience at 50% of the price, and without a loud badge on the hood.
Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury brand would you spend your hard earned 50 lakh – 1.5 crore rupees on?
IMHO, the biggest challenger will be Tesla. Even if their launch pricing is too high, Tesla will eventually go the CKD route and make the prices more acceptable. When it comes to EV technology, Tesla is at least 5 – 7 years ahead of everyone else ([I]I have driven EVs from all the big brands before making this statement[/I]). Furthermore, Tesla is also a “super cool” badge which will attract many wealthy Indians. In the USA, the Model S has outsold the mighty S-Class in some years. China? Tesla is chipping away at the market-share of the Germans. Tesla has the brand as well as the product to attack the entrenched players IMHO.
December 2020 retail sales numbers (source FADA):
• Mercedes – 805 units
• BMW – 604 units
• Jaguar Land Rover – 183 units
• Volvo – 123 units
• Audi – 41 units (CBU)
• Porsche – 24 units
Lexus missing from the list as I don’t think their dealers are sharing numbers. If someone doesn’t share, it’s usually because they are too low & embarrassing.
Mini? They delivered 502 cars in 2020.
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