MUMBAI: It perhaps has never been so affordable to own a performance car in India. Iconic German sports car makers
displacing more than 2 litres in the National Capital Region was lifted after six months last year, but that led the companies to be prepared for any such eventuality.
Luxury-car makers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi introduced sub-2-litre engine and petrol options and today these models have become a key part of their portfolio.Introduction of the 2-litre engine was a long-term counter strategy and the 2-litre, 4-cylinder strategy works brilliantly, said Pavan Shetty, head of the Porsche brand in India.
"You still have a product, comes very close to the competition and still can keep the business afloat in the best of times." Porsche's cars with 2-litre engines are getting strong traction in the market, he said. Already, the share of the 718 Cayman and Boxter in the company's India portfolio has increased to 15% from 5% and the Macan R4 is likely to see a five fold jump in sales to about 50 cars in 2017.
"The 2-litre cars should bring in incremental business of about 20% in 2017. Thanks to the overlying positive sentiment, we are looking at positive growth for first time in three years," said Shetty.
At Mercedes-Benz, the 43 AMG models have been the biggest contributor globally, too, to the more than 1 lakh cars it sold under the AMG portfolio in 2016. Both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche have lined up a number of vehicles for launch in India this year. Merc's plan comprises a dozen products, while Porsche is set to bring in the GT3 shortly.
Porsche, which plans also to add the Panamera diesel next year, has expanded its geographical reach with two new dealers in Chennai and Hyderabad. The company is exploring the possibility of starting smaller boutique outlets or small set-ups with a significant digital interface with the customers to reach out to towns and small cities.
News Source - Economic Times
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