With luxury carmakers posting a significant decline in the 2021 fiscal, Lamborghini was the only one to buck the trend.
Lamborghini India managed to put up a strong showing in FY2021, doubling its volume and bucking the trend that saw every other luxury carmaker in the country lose significant sales in the face of the pandemic. “We are definitely doing far better than all the other players in the super-luxury segment. We are outperforming them,” Sharad Agarwal, head, Lamborghini India, told Autocar India in an interview.
Lamborghini delivered 26 cars in India in FY2021
Sales surge fuelled by strong demand for Urus
Current wave of the pandemic could affect super-luxury car sales next year
Lamborghini is the only super-luxury carmaker to post growth in FY2021
As per the vehicle registration data released by FADA (Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations), Lamborghini sold 26 cars in the April 2020-March 2021 period, compared to 13 vehicles in the previous fiscal. The growth not only helped the Italian marque be the outlier in the segment, but also overtake traditional rivals like Ferrari and Bentley in the Indian market.
Super-luxury car registrations
Source: FADA Research
Lamborghini’s numbers are fuelled by a strong demand for the Urus, which carries a base price of Rs 3.15 crore (ex-showroom). Offering a mix of supercar performance and everyday practicality, the SUV has piqued customer interest. This is evident from the fact that over 70 percent of Urus buyers in India are first-time Lamborghini customers.
Commenting on the company’s sales, Agarwal said, “Urus is the key driving force for our business in India. But at the same time, we have been maintaining volumes in the super sports segment too.” In the said category, Lamborghini has the Aventador and the Huracan on offer.
Sharad Agarwal, head, Lamborghini India: India is among the top five markets in the world to bring in new models from Lamborghini.
Agarwal stated, “India is among the top five markets in the world to bring new models from Lamborghini.” Consequently, the company has been quick to introduce fresh products in India. However, delays stemmed by the pandemic have meant that the Huracan Evo RWD Spyder has just been launched in India, after being revealed globally almost a year ago.
Strong demand after the first wave of COVID-19
Highlighting the sales pattern over the past year, Agarwal said, “In the first wave (of COVID-19), I didn’t see much impact on our segment of customers. A lot of businesses bounced back very strongly once everything started opening up.”
“Positivity came back to the market at a very fast pace. From September-October 2020 onwards, we saw a very positive movement, both in terms of customer deliveries and also in terms of new order intakes.”
Giving further perspective, he added that such was the surge in demand that Lamborghini India’s customer orders grew by 20 percent year-on-year in the October 2020 to March 2021 period. However, the second wave of COVID-19 could impede the momentum.
Second wave could play spoilsport
“The second wave is really serious because this time I’ve seen even our segment of customers being affected. So yes, it has really impacted on a personal level,” said Agarwal.
Since the purchase of a super-luxury car is a “very sentimental and emotion driven decision”, the Lamborghini chief reflected, “Obviously, it will have a business-level impact too, but we have to see how much.”
The automaker is expecting to see the effects of the current wave on its volumes only a few months down the line. “One very different characteristic of this segment is that it works on 6-8 months of delivery time. So, we anticipate that since there was a very strong rebound after the first wave and a good order bank come in, we still have a positive outlook for this year,” said Agarwal.
He continued, “However, we need to monitor the new order bank in the coming months, and this may have an impact on the business and volumes for next year.”
More brands will help expand super-luxury segment
Broadening his perspective and talking about the overall super-luxury segment in India, Agarwal said, “The last two years have been tough for the segment. In calendar year 2019, we saw the segment go down by about 18 percent, and in 2020, given the impact of COVID-19 on both the demand as well as the supply side, we saw the segment further decline by 30 percent.”
The Lamborghini India chief mentioned that super-luxury car volumes peaked in 2018, with sales of 320 cars. This declined to 265 cars the following year, and a pandemic-riddled 2020 pulled down the volumes to 185 cars.
“If you look at the overall segment, it is still very small and niche,” pointed out Agarwal. However, he added, “If we look at the potential of what we have in the country, I think this does not fully reflect the potential in the market and this has a much higher scope for growth.”
Conveniently then, the segment is about to get heated up in the coming weeks, with McLaren’s official debut in India. Lamborghini’s top boss feels that this is a positive development as it will reinvigorate the whole category. “I think there is enough market share for each one of us and the challenge which we all have is to grow this super-luxury segment. I'm sure, with more players coming in, it will help us to push that growth further,” commented Agarwal.