Luxury vehicles hit the fast lane in 2017 to post the fastest sales growth in India in five years, changing gears after slowing down in the previous year due to the twin impact of demonetisation and diesel ban.
Sales accelerated 18% in 2017 over the previous year to scale a record high of 38,989 units. In 2016, 33,050 luxury vehicles were sold across the country, down 8% from the previous year as the ban on sales of larger diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region, levy of infra cess and demonetisation of high-value currency notes took a combined toll on the market.
Prior to that, luxury car sales had increased 12.8% year-on-year in 2015, 5.7% in 2014 and 5% in 2013. German luxury car maker Mercedes Benz retained the top slot in the local market for the third year in a row, selling 15,330 units in 2017, up around 16% from 13,231 units sold a year earlier.
The Stuttgart-based car maker launched 12 vehicles in India in 2017. Rival BMW recorded even higher sales growth, selling 9,800 units during the year, up 25% from the year before, driven by demand for sports activity vehicles X1 and X5. BMW India sold a total of 9,379 vehicles while Mini accounted for 421 units.
Audi and JLR closed the year with sales of 7,876 units (a growth of 2%) and 3,954 units (a growth of 49%) respectively. The duo plans to keep the momentum going with the launch of Audi Q5 and Range Rover Velar later this month.
Meanwhile, Swedish luxury carmaker Volvo — which commenced local assembly in October 2017 — reported a growth of 28% to sell 2,029 units in the period under review.