The Coronavirus pandemic has hit hard the Indian luxury car market and pushed it back by 5-7 years, says German luxury carmaker Audi. As the automaker claims, the Indian luxury car market will take at last 2-3 years to reach the levels of 2014-2015.
With gradual recovery taking place, in the post-lockdown phase, sales of luxury cars will witness growth in 2021, on a lower base though, indicates Audi India Head Balbir Singh Dhillon. “The number of cars that were sold in 2014-2015, we are not going to reach those levels immediately next year. So pandemic has actually taken us back by 5-7 years,” Dhillon said in an interview to PTI.
Back in 2014, the Indian luxury car market sold around 30,000 units, while it was around 31,000 units in 2015. The Indian luxury car market’s top 5 players are Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo. These five car brands sold around 35,500 units in 2019, down from 40,340 units registered in 2018.
Apart from these five car brands, there are car brands like Rolls Royce, Bentley, MINI (part of BMW Group), Lexus (part of Toyota group) present in the country.
While the Indian luxury car market will surely not coming back to the best next year, Audi India is happy with its positive moving direction. The German luxury carmaker is also confident about the long-term growth potential of the Indian auto market.
As Dhillon said, India offers a lot of potential for the long term. “Economy for sure is going down, but every estimate shows that there will be a V-shaped recovery in 2021 on the base of a lower economic activity this year, which will definitely improve the market,” Dhillon said.
At present, in India, there are less than 30 cars for every 1,000 people, as compared to the country like China, where the number is as high as 800. Therefore, India has a lot of motorisation to happen.
A few days back, Mercedes-Benz India chief Martin Schwenk said the luxury car sales will match the pre-Covid levels by the end of 2020. It has already reached 85% of the pre-Covid levels.
According to Schwenk, despite the surging Covid-19 cases across India, optimism among the customers is coming back and that is helping Mercedes-Benz’s business in India.