Tata Motors-controlled British luxury brand Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) claims to have sold more cars than Audi last year, becoming the first non-German company break into the top three.
A top company official said that JLR sold 5,000 cars in India which is more than what Audi, the struggling luxury brand of Volkswagen group, sold in 2019. Mercedes and BMW continue to remain at the top, holding on to their number one and number two spots, respectively.
PB Balaji, Group Chief financial officer, Tata Motors said, "Right now we are number three in the market and we sell 5,000-odd cars in this market, and it is a business that has been doing well."
JLR has thus become the only luxury car company to have recorded a growth in 2019 even as each of its competitors logged a fall in sales. There was a growth of 9 percent over 2018 when it sold a total of 4,596 units.
The past year, 2019 was one of the worst years for luxury car sales with the combined volumes of four players, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Audi and Volvo falling to 35,274 units, a decline of 13 percent compared to 40,340 units clocked in 2018.
"This market has struggled in the last year in terms of growth rate similar to the rest of the passenger vehicle market. So that is a disappointment in terms of the market potential," added Balaji.
JLR is hoping that its new launches including recent ones like Evoque and the upcoming Discovery Sport facelift will help it turned the tide. Among other launches, the Jaguar I-Pace is also slated to come to India.
German giant Mercedes-Benz retained the top spot for the fifth consecutive year. It recorded a fall of 11 percent to 13,786 units in 2019. In 2018, the Daimler-owned brand had sold 15,538 units.
BMW held on to its second spot with sales of 9,641 units, a fall of 13 percent as against 11,105 units posted 2018. BMW India's locally-produced sports activity vehicle range including the BMW X5, BMW X3 and BMW X1, had more than 50 percent contribution.
Audi witnessed a fall that was the worst in 10 years. The German company, that was once the top luxury car maker in India in terms of sales, posted a decline of 29 percent to 4,594 units in 2019.
Volvo’s sales dipped 15 percent year-on-year to 2,253 units in 2019. Besides the slowdown in demand for luxury cars, the dip can be attributed to the absence of car lines such as S60 and V40.
Despite the slowdown, these luxury carmakers have lined-up no less than two dozen launches this year including at least three all-electric cars, which is a first by them.