While Germans have been dominating the Indian luxury car market for quite some time, the Italian brands too have been rolling up their sleeves to explore the country. One of the biggest name in the luxury sport car space, Ferrari, entered India in 2011 and is finding the market quite buoyant. Till December 2011 itself, the brand got about 20 bookings which is encouraging. Another Italian luxury car maker Maserati too entered the Indian market in 2011. Both these Italian luxury giants are having their India presence through their Indian partner Shreyans Group. In an interview with Pitch, Ashish Chordia, Chairman, Shreyans Group and Spokesperson for Ferrari and Maserati in India shares the brandsâ€™ India plans. Excerptsâ€¦
How is the consumption of luxury cars in India different from the West?
The car market has expanded exponentially in recent times. Social acceptability of luxury brands has assisted with the growth of the luxury car market in India and is a clear reflection of a continuously evolving and changing society. The recent introduction of several key luxury automotive players is a key indication of such a trend. We anticipate this pattern to continue in the near future.
The consumption pattern is quite consistent across the globe for such a unique purchase. An interesting variation which may be noted is the age of the demographic purchasing our cars in emerging markets can be seen to be relatively lower than in mature markets.
How has been the response to Ferrari?
The response to Ferrari in India has been extremely positive. Model selection in India is based on customer preference. If they wish to have a Grand Touring (GT) car, they select the California, however if they choose to drive a sportier two-seater they select the 458 Italia. Between June and December of 2011 Ferrari India has received 20 bookings.
How has been the response to Maserati?
Similar to Ferrari, Maserati has received a positive response as well. A sales facility for Maserati will be operational shortly, at which time we will be happy to discuss sales numbers for the brand.
Which are the cities that are your key focus for these two brands?
Metropolitan cities are the key focus at the moment for both brands. Customers are present across India and we cannot specify any one city where sales are highest. Tier II towns have a number of enthusiasts and industrialists present and they will be the focus in the near future once the Metropolitan cities have been established.
What kind of marketing activities do you do for Ferrari and Maserati?
At the moment our marketing & promotional activities include direct communication and experiential activities for prospects and customers.
How involved are the parent companies of the two brands (Ferrari and Maserati) when it comes to marketing and sales and other support?
As the official and exclusive importer, all key activities within the country are administered by us including sales, after sales, marketing, training, dealer development, etcâ€¦ These activities are carried out with the full support of the manufacturer.
How big is the dealer network for Ferrari and Maserati? what kind of expansion are you looking at on this front?
Presently we have a Ferrari showroom in New Delhi. An authorized service facility for both Ferrari and Maserati is operational in Gurgaon. Before the end of this year, a showroom in Mumbai for Ferrari and Maserati as well as a showroom in New Delhi for Maserati will be inaugurated.
Do you see any market for the second hand luxury cars in India? How is this market in developed countries?
Certainly there will be a market for pre-owned luxury cars as this is a natural course for any emerging market with time. Developed countries have an established pre-owned market where trade-ins take place on a regular basis.
â€œTier II towns have a number of enthusiastsâ€