Pre-GST buying over fears of a price hike and strong demand for SUVs saw luxury car sales hit record volumes in 2017-18 as numbers grew nearly 20% to top 40,000 units for the first time ever.
The growth in demand for the vehicles, costing upwards of Rs.25 lakh, came even as the duty on them became dearer in the GST era, while the Budget increased the taxation on locally-assembled (completely-knocked down) cars.
Sales of luxury cars in 2016-17 was around 34,500 and is estimated to have grown to around 41,000 units in 2017-18.
The surge in sales was led by Mercedes-Benz, which saw volumes growing by 22% to 16,236 units in 2017-18 against 13,259 units in 2016-17. Mercedes leads the luxury segment for third year in a row, followed by compatriot BMW and Audi.
While BMW is estimated to have sold somewhere close to 10,000 units (the company is yet to reveal its numbers officially), Audi sold 7,647 units against 7,101 units in 2016-17.
The Indian business of Tatas-owned Jaguar Land Rover saw perhaps the fastest growth in the industry as numbers rose 83% to 4,609 units on the back of new models. The company has been increasing the number of models that it builds locally, while also boosting its retail presence as it looks at a larger play, Rohit Suri, MD, said.