Even as the car sector is facing a slowdown, the luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, BMW India, Audi India, and Honda Seil Cars India are upbeat about higher sales. The reason for high sales is that the Indian Corporate has developed a huge appetite for premium and luxury cars.
Indian corporate are renowned to book these cars for their employees. This in turn helps the luxury car manufacturer to keep their sales going.
According to a high level spokesperson from Mercedes - Benz India at least 25 percent of the sales come from corporate offices across the country.
The statement was supported by a high level executive from BMW. Among the premium cars, those that sell most in India are BMW 5 and 6 series, Mercedes Benz E- Class series, new Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry. A total of 3,987 units were sold in this category in the last fiscal. The top-notch premium executive cars, Mercedes S Class and BMW 7 series, have recorded a hike of 36 percent compared to last year.
Luxury car leasing companies are too doing brisk business. Leasing companies like Carzonrent from Hertz India and Leaseplan are booking more luxury cars than ever before. The premium cars are defined by their long wheelbase and luxury appointment in exterior and interiors. Premium cars cost Rs 15 lakh and upwards but luxury cars cost from RS 70 lakh to over Rs one crore.
The corporates prefer to lease these cars for top executives rather than buy them. Hence car lease companies are forced to buy more luxury cars to cater to the growing number of clientele.
Leaseplan which has a client list of more than 900 companies in the country and has the largest fleet of cars has admitted that business has grown. Mr Sanjeev Prasad, Country Manager of Leaseplan, said that of the 400 cars leased every month to business houses and big conglomerates, around 60 percent of them are for cars from premium and luxury segment. The result is higher business turnover.
The total number of luxury cars has touched 4000 units, in the 3rd quarter of this year. And the bookings do not stop pouring in, say Mercedes-Benz spokesperson.