Amaan AhmedApr 28, 2021 09:49:27 IST
The term ‘revenge buying’ has acquired a new dimension during the COVID-19 pandemic, and makers of luxury goods have all witnessed incredible demand as the dreaded virus ripped through the planet. India – which is currently in the grip of a deadly second wave – also had the high and mighty stepping out to indulge as the pandemic seemed to weaken at the end of 2020. Demand for luxury items rose, and between January and March this year, many high net-worth individuals ended up buying a Porsche.
So many, in fact, that it compelled Porsche India to publicly share domestic sales figures for the quarter via a press release, something it has rarely ever done.
With the prospect of a second COVID-19 wave looming large, Porsche India logged its best quarterly sales figures – between January and March – in seven years, selling a substantial 154 sportscars and SUVs. This figure also represented a 52 percent growth over the 101 cars Porsche India sold in the same period last year, before the pandemic dug its claws in and wreaked financial havoc.
In its statement, Porsche India attributes this spike in demand to the introduction of new variants of the Porsche Panamera sports sedan, which the company says resulted in the delivery of one car every week till the end of March. The statement also mentions that in this period, it sold more units of the Porsche Macan SUV than it has in any quarter since 2015.
The Macan – which was facelifted in 2019 – is currently the brand’s entry-level model, with prices starting at Rs 70 lakh. However, that is only the base price, and adding a handful of optional extras can potentially drive the price to beyond Rs 90 lakh. Still, the Macan – along with the Porsche Cayenne (priced from Rs 1.20 crore to 1.98 crore) makes up as much as 70 percent of Porsche’s India sales, with the Panamera constituting the other big chunk and the 718 and 911 sportscar lines.
Porsche India stated SUV sales grew by 38 percent over the same period in 2020. Interestingly, demand for even Porsche’s sportscars – which make up a minuscule part of the market – shot up by 26 percent between January and March. Prices for the 718 models range from Rs 85.46 lakh – Rs 1.63 crore, while the Porsche 911 line-up starts at Rs 1.64 crore and rises to Rs 3.08 crore for the 650 hp 911 Turbo S (all prices, ex-showroom).
At present, Porsche has sales outlets in six Indian cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kochi and Chandigarh – and a further five Porsche Centres in ‘major cities’ will join the list by April 2022.
Bearing in mind the debilitating effects of the second COVID-19 wave, it may be difficult for Porsche India to keep this momentum going in the second quarter. However, don’t be surprised to see demand for Stuttgart’s finest rise once again later this year when the situation improves. The next big thing from Porsche for India is the launch of the all-electric Taycan, for which the company already has brand loyalists in the country queuing up, its expected price of over Rs 2 crore notwithstanding.