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Overseas Talk
 

“We see a significant potential in India’s supercar market”
The niche luxury car category is now becoming the new battleground in the Indian auto story. Over the past year, super premium sports cars like Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, BMW, Porsche, Koenigsegg and Lamborghini have all hit the Indian roads.
Issue Date - 19/01/2012
 
This past November, Italian marquee Automobili Lamborghini launched its latest supercar Aventador LP 700-4 in India, priced at 36.9 million rupees ($750,000) and available at outlets of Exclusive Motors, the sole partner for selling the Italian supercar brand in India. James Page, Marketing Manager at Lamborghini SPA of South East Asia and Pacific, talks to B&E’s Deepanshu Taumar about how he sees the market for super luxury sports cars growing in India and the completely new level of performance and sets of standards that the Lamborghini Aventador offers in the sports car category.



B&E: What kind of strategy are you putting in place for selling a super expensive car like the Lamborghini Aventador LP-700-4 in India?
James Page (JP): Our strategy in India will definitely be aggressive and we will expand our network and ramp up our marketing. Our relations with Exclusive Motors have been good and Satya Bagla (MD of Exclusive Motors) has been a great partner. We believe the alliance will pay off handsomely and show up good numbers in terms of unit sales. Exclusive Motors has already got us 20 bookings of the car within days of its launch in the country.

B&E: How do you plan to create a market for a mega expensive sports car in the country? What kind of sales numbers are you looking at in India?
JP: We will do it step by step. We have already started delivering to our initial customers. From research and development at Lamborghini Houston (service centre) to bringing the car to market - it’s been pretty tiring so far but we are going about it in a surefooted manner. Right now getting the first few units out for our early customers is the company’s main priority. We will continue to deliver the units and take more orders on a year-on-year basis. Exclusive Motors has recorded 20 bookings of Aventador and new customers will have to wait for 18 months for the delivery of the car. Since March onwards – when Aventador LP700-4 was introduced to the world – 1500 cars have been booked worldwide. We are aiming to sell 100 cars annually in India.

B&E: Every country is different and unique in terms of consumer buying behaviour. What do you think Lamborghini has to offer that will win it potential customers in India?
JP: We want to meet the expectations of our prospective customers from different parts of the world. Basically our strategy is to be aggressive but in a good way. Our first step is to show the people our car. We get them on the wheels to experience the emotions that comes while driving the car. This makes them feel and experience the Lamborghini brand values. We are an Italian car brand with extreme and uncompromising value propositions. The design of the car is really aggressive and is based on aeronautics. This has been done so that our customers get to feel that owning a Lamborghini brings with it a whole lot of emotions that are different from owning any other supercar. This unique emotional bonding and identification with the brand is what Lamborghini is all about.

 
B&E: How has Lamborghini been performing in the Asian markets as compared to the developed markets?
JP: China is becoming the No.1 market for us in the world. Five years ago, we were able to sell only a handful of cars (five cars maybe). Now by this year-end, we are on course to sell more than 300 cars. So you can see the ground we have covered and the kind of growth we have been able to achieve in China. India may not grow that fast but we still see a significant potential in the country. This is evident from the success of Formula One and the kind of response we are getting from the market here.

B&E: Lamborghini is definitely not a volume player. What consumer segments will you be targeting then or will you be looking to create your own niche segment(s)?
JP: We are not targeting any specific segment or a particular market. We are targeting those people who share Lamborghini’s values and appreciate the product. And, of course, the sports car enthusiast who would love to own our car. We are targeting entrepreneurs and self-made individuals who are successful as they are most likely to identify with and share the core values of brand Lamborghini.

B&E: Do you feel the success of Formula One will positively affect the sales of your car? Do you plan to associate the brand with sports car events in India in the future?
JP: Lamborghini does not associate with events such as Formula One because the company’s standing is by virtue of its own strengths and brand values. The brand is different and unique in itself and has always been known for its successful series of supercars. Lamborghini has it own Super Trofeo Series - the world’s fastest one-make series. But yes, the Formula One track in India does give us an advantage. Now we do not have to take Indian customers to Europe for test drives, which we used to do earlier. Now our customers in India can test the vehicle by driving it on the Formula One track here.
Deepanshu Taumar           

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