Premium car manufacturers like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW were earlier insulated from the slump in the Indian car market. These manufacturers were comfortable and happy with the growing sales until Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) revealed the information that seems to shake them.
SIAM pointed out the declined sales of premium and luxury cars in October 2008. This month has recorded declined sales of 2,859 units against 4,114 units sold in the corresponding month last year. The luxury car market has fallen by 30.51%.
SIAM also stated that the hardest hit was on high-end cars ranging between the price tag of Rs 73.6 Lakh and Rs 1.24 Crore. Their sales have gone down to 26 units against 67 units in October 2007, reporting a fall of 61.9%.
In the luxury car market, Mercedes-Benz has reported a six fold dip in the sales of its most aspiring car, Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It is said that this car only showed a sales of 7 units in October 2008 against 44 units in the same month last year. BMW India's sales, mainly for the 7-Series cars declined by 17.39% that accounts for 19 units compared to 23 units in the corresponding month last year.
SIAM also revealed that sales of executive cars like Honda Civic and Chevrolet Optra also showed a dip. The overall segment recorded a fall of 34.29 percent that accounts for 2,313 units against 3,520 units in the same month last year.
In the category, even the sales of Toyota Camry and Mercedes-Benz E-class plunged by nearly four fold in October, while that of Hyundai Sonata by almost three fold.
Overall, the month of October this fiscal took premium car manufacturers also into the rolls of global recession.