Sales of luxury cars may have dipped to their lowest in three years due to multiple increase in prices and a slowing economy.
Mercedes, BMW and Audi together control more than 80 percent of all luxury cars sold in India.
They posted sales of 28,021 units in 2019, a slump of 26 percent compared to 2018 when they sold 37,702 units.
Two other companies who are part of the same league – Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo – did not reveal sales figures for 2019 at the time of publishing this article.
Despite severity in slowdown, 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.
"We are satisfied with our sales performance in 2019 despite facing strong macro-economic headwinds, specifically in the first three quarters. We were able to create a strong growth momentum in the market during the festive period and we are glad to carry it for the rest of the year. Our growth in our Q4 sales is a testament of this fact," said Martin Schwenk, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India.
In the October-December period (including festive days), Mercedes recorded a growth of 3.3 percent. During these three months the company launched three new models, G 350d, V-Class Elite and GLC.
Audi witnessed a fall that was the worst in ten years. The German company, that was once the top luxury car maker in India in sales, posted a decline of 29 percent to 4,594 units in 2019.
"The auto industry faced strong headwinds in 2019. Economic slowdown in India last year tapered customer sentiment and potential car buyers delayed their buying decision. It was a challenging year as there was ambiguity about the life of BS-IV vehicles on-road in the customer’s mind and an anticipation for GST reduction on cars; both of these topics were later clarified by the Government. The year also saw the tightening of loans availability to dealers and customers, which negatively impacted the sales of luxury cars," Audi India said .
Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India, said: "At Audi India, we are optimistic about the growth of luxury car segment for many years on the back of the India growth story; which still remains intact. We believe that the luxury car market will take a leap jump sometime in the future, we only don’t know when. In terms of growth estimates for the luxury car market, we estimate it to remain flat in 2020 and we are hopeful of positive growth / revival starting 2021”.
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 saw a significant contribution of over 50 percent coming from the locally-produced sports activity vehicle range including the BMW X5, the BMW X3 and the BMW X1. A strong contribution also came from the BMW 5 Series and the BMW 3 Series.
" The year 2019 was not an easy one for the Indian automotive industry as various macroeconomic and structural conditions shook its foundations," said Rudratej Singh, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMW Group India.