Lamborghini Urus SUV (Source: Reuters)
Audi-owned Italian supercar manufacturer Lamborghini is looking to double sales of its exotic cars in India with the launch of its first sports utility vehicle (SUV) Urus. The car, which is scheduled to reach Indian customers in 2018, could be a game-changer as it does not need silky, smooth tarmac road.
Lamborghini, with its claimed 40 per cent market share, is the leader of the Indian supercar market, which recorded 55 buys in 2015.
Only cars which have over 450-horsepower engine and are priced above Rs 1.5 crore fall in this category; and while the base is still very small, the segment is experiencing a double digit growth in India.
“What we saw in the past is that the segment has not grown to its potential because there was a steep increase in import duty. But the good thing that we saw last year is that the growth came back to the segment, and we expect it to grow at a double digit pace in the time to come,” said Sharad Agarwal, head of Lamborghini in India.
Supercar sales in India are no longer restricted to large metros as affluent people in Tier-I and Tier-II cities are no longer shy of flaunting their wealth. While a large chunk of buyers of these ultra-luxury cars are male entrepreneurs running large family businesses, Lamborghini is seeing an increase in the number of customers who are first-generation entrepreneurs and has even sold supercars to Indian women.
Majority of Lamborghini owners in India are 25-45 years old. Urus could not only appeal more to wealthy customers in smaller cities, thanks to its best-in-class ability to negotiate with bumpy roads, it could also significantly widen the age bracket and gender diversity of Indian customer base.
“The Urus is going to be very exciting since it will open an entirely new customer segment for us. With it, we aim to double our business volume over that of 2015. We’re very excited since the car addresses the fundamental infrastructure challenge that we sometimes come across in the country,” Agarwal said.
Deliveries for the Urus in India will begin in 2018 and while the company hasn’t begun taking orders as yet, there is already a lot of excitement among its customers. The company, which decided to open its doors to Indian customers in 2012, has built an independent presence in the country rather than riding on the back of parent Audi’s sales and services network.
While excise duties on supercars, which enter the country as complete-built units isn’t expected to come down anytime soon, the market is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years. Globally, several supercar and luxury car manufacturers, with the exception of Ferrari, have started diverting their attention to building SUVs, which are likely to perform well in the emerging markets.
Lamborghini has dealers in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru and says it can cater to demand from across the country. As the market grows, the company said, it could open more showrooms, even in non-metros!