Except for Audi, all other luxury car brands have posted a decline in sales for Sep 2020
Luxury cars are an aspiration that many live by, and it’s this innate need to have the best that money can buy that helps the industry. Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) reports retail luxury car sals slowdown for September 2020. Cumulative luxury car retail sales have reported YoY and MoM decline.
FADA retail luxury car sales decline in September 2020
YoY sales fell 26.81 percent, down to 1,590 units from 2,039 units. Mercedes-Benz India sales fell to 565 units from 772 units at 26.81 percent sales decline. BMW sales fell to 467 units from 600 units, down 22.17 percent. Audi India has stayed in the green at 279 units, up 22.91 percent from 227 units.
JLR sales less than halved at 135 units from 273 units at 50.55 percent decline. Volvo reported marginal decline at 120 units, down from 130 units at 7.69 percent decline. Porsche sales are fairly prudent despite a decline of 33.33 percent as sales fell to 20 units from 30.
Lamborghini and Rolls Royce held ground at 2 units, and a single unit sold, akin to Sep 2019. Ferrari sold 1 unit, down from 2. Bentley sales are at nil, down from 4 units. Of course, wholesale numbers will reflect better across the spectrum.
There’s no doubt that retail numbers are telling, and the luxury car market has been shredded. While last month’s comparative sales were better, this can be attributed to sales and dispatch of pent-up demand as the country was in the grip of Covid-19 related pandemic lockdown at the start of FY21.
Festive Season Might Boost Sales
With business now picking up, mass market two-wheeler and car units are stepping into the green in MoM and YoY comparisons. With the industry having already showing signs of a slowdown in 2019, low base sales have helped a majority of mass market manufacturers report gain in September 2020. But the usual rules don’t apply to the luxury car market, a place that’s restrictive in its price points.
Long before pandemic related repercussions affected businesses, the Indian luxury car space was already in the red at the end of 2019 with decisions hinging in part on the implementation of BS6 emission norms from April 1, 2020. While transition was being addressed gradually, there wasn’t any inkling as to how different the world would look on April 1, 2020.
While it’s back to business, luxury car manufacturers could look forward to some relief from the ongoing festive season, a period that is recognised traditionally as a high sales period. Whether or not that charms buyers, and to what extent will slowly unfold through Q4 2020. While Q3 sales have been better than Q2 2020 sales, it’s nowhere close to recovery.
Luxury car launches in October 2020
In the meantime, manufacturers have continued to launch new vehicles with October being especially busy. Following the launch of Mercedes-Benz EQC today, BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Land Rover Defender launch is scheduled for October 15, and Audi Q2 the next day.