India’s ultra-luxury car market (over Rs 2 crore) has recorded its highest-ever growth this year, as the ‘you only live once’ (YOLO) concept gains pace after the pandemic. Sales increased by 50% in 2022, surpassing the previous high reached in 2018.
The very rich car market, dominated by the Italian super sports car manufacturer Lamborghinis and other players like BentleysFerrari, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Porsche and Maybach, has been on top since the lifting of post-pandemic restrictions.
Sharad Agarwal, Indian boss of Lamborghini, which sells cars up to Rs 4 crore, says buyers have gone ahead and taken steps to achieve ‘their dreams and aspirations’ post-Covid, against previous practice of being cautious when it came to indulgence.
“The luxury car market is expected to close this year at 450 units, up from 300 sold in 2021. This will also surpass the previous high of 325 units sold in 2018,” Agrawal told TOI. “Young and rich Indians are exposed to what is being launched globally and they want to drive the same cars here. This has also seen us present our most recent cars almost in line with their world debut.”
Some of the country’s leading retailers are confirming the trend. “Demand for luxury cars is unprecedented and has skyrocketed since the pandemic,” he says Yadur Kapur, CEO of Select Cars, whose company retails luxury brands such as Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and BMW. “Post-Covid, everyone wants to enjoy life. Covid has dealt many a blow, and now people want to live rich, rather than die rich. We have noticed this trend.”
Satya Bagla, the chief executive of Exclusive Motors which sells Bentleys in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, says post-Covid people want to “reward themselves with material things” rather than saving money. “Previously not indulging was seen as a cool thing. But not anymore. Now people say why not. This can be seen as people indulge in expensive vacations, private jets, super-luxury cars, and expensive watches.