Following record sales last year, luxury carmaker Rolls Royce sees a flat growth in India this year. "In the past six months, our sales are more or less at the same level when compared to the last year," Hal Serudin, Asia Pacific spokesperson of Rolls Royce told HT.
However, the company has ramped up its marketing operations in India as it sees greater long term potential in the country where ultra-rich segment is expanding year-by-year.
The company will have two outlets more in India this year in addition to the existing Mumbai and Delhi outlet. Rolls Royce is choosing from among Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore to open its next dealership.
Taking into consideration the good demand for super luxury cars in the north India, the company plans to set up either a service centre or dealership in Chandigarh, the market which is currently served by its dealership in Delhi.
"Last year we saw spectacular growth in India with the 70-80 unit sales. This year our focus is more on business sustainability," said Serudin.
Globally, Rolls Royce sales grew 64% in the past six months at 1592 units. Sales in Asia- Pacific region more than doubled during this time, mainly on the back of huge growth in China. India is the third largest market in Asia Pacific region after China and Japan.
Rolls Royce which sells cars priced in the range of Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 4.2 crore in India targets ultra high networth individuals. The latest Capgemini and Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report is particularly nice news for Rolls Royce as it saw 21% rise in India's high networth individuals population. The number of individuals with investible assets more than Rs 4.5 crore rose to 1,53,000 in India.
However, Rolls Royce faces challenge from competitors who have entered the Indian super luxury car market. In the past one year at least half a dozen marquee brands including Bugatti Veyron (R16.4 crore), Koenigsegg Agera (Rs 12.5 crore), Aston Martin (Rs 1.6 crore-Rs 20 crore) and Maybach (Rs 4.8 crore-Rs 5.1 crore) drove into India.
Slowing economic growth is another concern as customers may defer buying decisions. On the other hand, said Serudin, people see potential in starting a Rolls Royce dealership.
"We got quite a few good candidates who want to start a dealership," he said.