The luxury car market in India has taken a hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since 2018, the sales of luxury cars have been a little over 1.5% as compared to the markets in the USA or China. There are a number of reasons for such a small sales figure. The key reason for the limited sales is the taxation in the new GST regime. Leading premium luxury car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW have already shown their concern for the rising prices under the GST system. With the introduction of BS6 standards, the automobile companies also faced a hard time selling their older units, which is why the sales went down.
At the advent of the pandemic in late 2019 and early 2020, only 6600 vehicles were sold by BMW and even lower for Audi, that is, 1639 units as compared to 4594 units sold in 2019, while Mercedes-Benz recorded a sale of 7839 units which made it the leading brand of 2021.
Vaccination and resumption of economic activities will stimulate the gradual rise in demand for a luxury car. The leading luxury car brands are hoping for steady growth after taking blows in 2020. Jaguar and Land Rover was the only luxury car brand in India that recorded growth in 2019 and has shown consistency in 2020. They expect to keep their form in the upcoming years.
Notably, the pre-owned luxury cars market has seen a rise as compared to new car sales. The customers root for pre-owned luxury cars because of lower prices and taxes while enjoying the benefit of comfort and luxury in mint condition. Moreover, the introduction of dedicated used luxury car sales dealerships has made it even easier for people to buy these cars.
The Most Searched Luxury Cars in India
Luxury cars in India gained popularity through mass media advertising campaigns and brand marketing through movies and reality shows. The majority of Indian customers don’t shy away from shelling a few extra bucks on comfort and luxury when it comes to buying a car. The above two factors combined are the source of optimism in the minds of luxury carmakers.
Social media advertising has led to car enthusiasts constantly searching and comparing various luxury cars online, especially second-hand high-end cars. The list starts with Lamborghini on the top, according to a recent survey. It was searched almost 6 lac times between January 2020 and June 2020. While BMW and Rolls Royce shared the online traffic at 3 lac hits, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz held the third and fourth positions respectively at 2.8 lac and 2.5 lac hits. Making it to the top 5 was Audi at fifth position with 1.8 lac hits between the time as mentioned earlier.
The above data must not be compared to the actual sales figure because searches occurring online may not entirely be intended to buy a specific car. Most of the time, people are just curious to know about the specifications of leading luxury car manufacturers. Moreover, new models introduced by the luxury car manufacturers receive more hits as compared to older models.
Top Luxury Cars That Are Made in India
Over time, many foreign luxury car makers have opted to set up manufacturing units and assembly plants in India to cater to the local market. India is also a prominent base country from a logistics point of view to cater to the needs of South-East Asian markets. In this section, we will cover some of the top luxury cars that are made in India:
Located near Bengaluru, Volvo India started operations around 2017. The XC90 was the first premium SUV by the company to have been fully assembled in India. The plant is located in Bagmane Tech Park and, since 2018, has rolled out multiple units of XC60 and S90 also. The SPA modular architecture is the baseline on which Volvo India produces the vehicles. The typical 2.0litre four-cylinder diesel engine has a power output of 235bhp and maximum torque of 480Nm. The roomy cabin is both minimalistic and functional, while the dash is divided into 4 different zones to cater to unmatched entertainment, navigation, phone, and sound experience.
Mercedes-Benz S class:
The Indian Mercedes-Benz plant, established in Pune, boasts of being the only assembly line that produces the S class outside Europe. The key feature of this luxury sedan is the radar assisted driving system and the OM 656 diesel engine which sits under the hood. It has a maximum torque generation of 600Nm and 282bhp, which makes it the most powerful engine designed by Mercedes India. The engine has a displacement of 3000cc.
BMW 5 series:
The Chennai-based plant of BMW India produces both 5 series and 7 series sedans, although the 5 series is more in demand in the Indian market. These sedans are based on the CLAR platform designed by BMW specifically to upscale the toughness and stability of the vehicle. BMW 5 series, like always, has been a driver’s car, and it doesn’t fail on the thrill quotient. An impressive, sportier 3.0-litre diesel engine churns out 261bhp without compromising on fuel efficiency.
Under the aegis of Tata Motors now, the formerly British automaker produces the XE, which is arguably India’s most affordable luxury sedan, in Pune, Maharashtra. Bold styling and aggressiveness are the two major features that attract a lot of younger generation customers. The XE with the Ingenium petrol engine dishes out a maximum power of 247bhp, while the 2 liters turbocharged diesel engine has a maximum output of 177bhp.
Leading Luxury car brands in India which people buy
The sale of any luxury car in India is based on affordability, reliability, comfort, performance, and after-sales service network. India has varied landscapes and all the more variable weather and road conditions. Cars that have stood the test of time in recent years have passed the criteria mentioned above without breaking a sweat. Rigorous designing, research, and development have enabled few luxury car brands to really hold their fort in Indian conditions. No doubt, the sales have gone down drastically in recent times, but rising economic conditions will surely boost manufacturers’ morale in coming years.
The following are the top leading luxury car brands in India which people buy:
Undisputedly, this German giant has carved a niche for itself in India through sheer resilience. The variety and reliability of its vehicles make it the beloved of Indians. The E-class, in particular, was one of the most sought-after vehicles by the customers owing to its extraordinary comfort and fuel efficiency. The E-class starts at INR 59 lac and is available in two variants- 2.0-liter petrol and diesel engine and a 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine.
Audi is another German car manufacturer which produces vehicles based on the philosophy of performance above looks. It is hard to ignore the Audi A4, the most sold car in India after Mercedes and BMW. The A4 is a long ride, which is best enjoyed being driven rather than driving it. The rear luxury is unmatched and has a plethora of features to complement its style and sobriety. The Audi A4 is offered in two variants, viz. a viz. 1.4litre petrol engine and 2-liter diesel TDI engine.
BMW manages to make it to each and every list, whether it comes to sales, performance, affordability, or style. The BMW 3 series is the highest-grossing vehicle by sales, making it one of the most popular luxury car brands available in the Indian market. The BMW 3 Series was introduced in 3 variants- Sports Line, Luxury Line, and M-Sport, with Luxury Line being the most loved vehicle in recent years. Features like 4-zone climate control, 6 airbags, and 8-speed automatic transmission make it comfortable, safe, and smooth.
Top trending features people look at in the luxury cars
People buy luxury cars for a number of reasons. Some look for safety; some like to make a bold statement, while some buy luxury cars for sheer comfort. Over the years, as the customer has become more aware, market competition has gone up a few notches, making it impossible for car manufacturers to survive without adding something new every time they launch a new car. Let’s take a look at the top trending features people look at in luxury cars:
Multi-zone climate control:
This system is designed keeping in mind the different needs of the driver and the passengers. For long road trips, this feature really proves helpful and is quite functional in short commutes too. It also puts less pressure on the air conditioning system.
Seat massagers are a part of few luxury cars for seamless comfort. Be it commuting in any condition, the last thing one wants is fatigue to take over in the long run. This simple yet effective function is sought after by many customers who give priority to comfort at all costs.
A wireless charging system is basically required to avoid wire clutter. Many new generation smartphones have wireless charging, and it literally is a hassle to deal with wires on the go.
Wireless Android Auto and Apple Car play:
This system, coupled with wireless charging, can make our lives so much easier. Be it navigation, phone calls, or switching between our favorite music, wireless functionality can be so much relieving.
The cruise control feature is something that comes pre-installed in many luxury cars for comfortable highway drive. It is worth a mention because it helps ease out the long drives and minimizes the chances of accidents occurring due to human error.
Most high-end luxury cars have paddle shifters to bring the control right back into your fingers. The technology is not only stylish but is also quite functional in situations requiring quick response and maneuvers.
This is another feature that people have started rooting for, for getting out of and into tight parking spaces without breaking a sweat or breaking anything on your car. This feature enables drivers to stop worrying about parking slots and tight spaces. Those who drive often will surely understand that parking can be a nightmare at times.
While we have tried to cover the latest trends and the on-goings of the luxury car markets in India, there’s still a lot more to explore. The market is ever-evolving due to constant technological upgrades and extensive research conducted by automobile manufacturing companies. Stay tuned with us for more exciting upcoming updates.