“Since July, we have seen a steady increase in enquiries, showroom traffic, customer interactions. There is a lot of traction in the market going into the festive season. We expect Q4 to be good but volumes this year will be lower than 2019. The market should recover in 2021”, informed Pawah. He added post the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic customers are showing an increased preference for personal mobility solutions, families are opting to travel together in cars, which is boosting sales of automobiles.
However, with three months of sales washed away between April and June, industry estimates luxury car sales to drop by around 40% in the ongoing calendar year. Around 35,000 luxury cars were sold in the country in 2019. Pawah added, “Passenger vehicle sales in India were estimated to touch 5 million units by 2020. We are not where we should have been. The luxury car market mirrors demand in the mass segment. There is a long way to go from here, the potential is immense.” He informed if the government were to rationalise the tax structure on luxury cars, it would enable the industry to grow faster, add value and contribute to the national economy.
On its part, BMW will continue to invest in the Indian market and introduce new products to draw in buyers. The company, which is in the midst of its biggest product offensive, has gained market share over the past year and intends to overtake compatriot Mercedes Benz to attain the pole position going forward. “We will launch a total of 11 new products this year. Many more are planned for launch in 2021. We are in the midst of our biggest product offensive, we have been gaining market share and closing the gap with our closest competitor. We intend to continue to do so in the next 24 months”, said Pawah, who was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of BMW Series 2 Gran Coupe priced upwards of Rs 39.3 lakh (ex-showroom). BMW India sold 4,144 passenger vehicles in the first nine months of the ongoing calendar year, compared to 5007 units sold by Mercedes Benz India. The company had sold 9,641 units in 2019.