German luxury auto majors, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi, who are engaged in a battle for top slot in the Indian market, are rapidly expanding their sales networks in the country to compete better.
All three will together add 38 new dealerships in 2012, which means, the number of German luxury car dealerships will grow by a third in the next year alone. This is in tandem with an expansion of product portfolio too. More than 60 luxury models will be sold in India by 2012, with German carmakers accounting for a majority of this segment.
With luxury car market — generally considered as the product segment with cars priced above Rs26 lakh — grows at 70% and is poised to cross 20,000 units this calendar year, the focus of premium carmakers is to open new dealerships in Tier-II markets besides setting up second or third outlet in top 10 metros.For instance, Audi, third placed yet fastest growing among these three, plans to increase the number of sales outlets from the current 13 to 25 in 2012. The new outlets will come up in places such as Lucknow, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Indore, west Delhi and south Mumbai.
BMW works on a project to triple dealerships by 2015. In the next one year, it will add 18 new dealerships to take the total number to 40. The company’s new dealerships have come up in places such as Goa.
Mercedes Benz, which has longest presence in India among these three, will add eight dealerships next year taking the total number of dealerships to 65 in 32 cities.
What prompts companies to expand their footprint in India is not just the recent spurt in sales but their confidence in long-term growth too. It is widely expected that luxury car sales in India will touch 150,000 units a year by 2020.