NEW DELHI: We are living in unprecedented times. The world is terrified and it’s not business as usual! The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have meant consumers are less inclined to spend more, with many prophesying their household income to continue to fall in the coming months fuelled by large numbers of unemployment or pay cuts.
However, some categories are expected to show positive trends. Within the luxury car market, the aspirational segment will outperform with business getting back to ‘normal’ in 4-6 months, Lamborghini India chief Sharad Agarwal tells TNIE.
After the 2008 recession, the luxury sector bounced back. This time, however, consumer spending was already becoming more conscious in the past three or four years, and the pandemic has only accelerated it.
When do you expect the luxury automobile sector to rebound?
While we have had challenges in terms of segment growth and a consistent increase in taxes and duties that prevented the market from meeting its full potential, Lamborghini in India has consistently grown its volumes and market share. We doubled our volumes in 2018, selling 45 units, and clocked a growth of 15.5 per cent in 2019, despite challenging market conditions.For this year, it is too early to forecast the impact on volumes as we have to wait to see how the economy will rebound after the lockdown is fully lifted. But we believe there will be only short-term hiccups as consumers may defer their purchases. The super-luxury segment is expected to get back to normal growth in 4-6 months around the festive season.
Do you believe there will be a change in customer preference?
In the short-term, there will be change in customer preferences owing to the current scenario, but their dreams remain. The luxury segment is all about dreams and aspirations and even during these uncertain times, the aspirations of the buyers may not alter. We believe the luxury segment is reliant on emotions and we are positive that our brand enthusiasts will come back stronger.
What does your order book look like? Would you revamp accessible price points?
Lamborghini continues to hold a strong order bank and have not seen any cancellations in last two months. So, we do not see the requirement to revamp price points. Our customers continue to hold a strong desire to own a Lamborghini despite the current adversity. For instance, we recently launched the Huracán EVO RWD Spyder using augmented reality and the response to this innovative method has been profoundly appreciated across the globe. In terms of operations, we are slowly reopening in India. There will be some delay in dispatches, but we are trying to minimise them.