German sports luxury car maker Porsche, which today launched its iconic 911 range car 911 GT3 at a price tag of Rs 2.31 crore, has said it expects the high-end car market to rebound this year and may reach near the 2015 level.
Porsche is hoping the luxury car market segment to end the year with 35,000-36,0000 this year with its own sales already surpassing the previous year's volumes of 401 units, a top company executive said.
"Motorsport is an integral part of Porsche's DNA; it is racing heritage, which gives us the edge in delivering true sports cars with exceptional everyday usability. We are immensely proud to announce the arrival of our first 911 GT3's in India today," Shetty said at the launch.
"We have noticed a rising demand for sports cars in our market, and with the 911 GT3 blurring the line between racetrack and road more than ever before, we have no doubt it will meet that demand," he added.
"The structure of the luxury car market will not remain forever what it is today as things are getting better. We see impetus in the market and the volume should come much better than last year. We (the luxury car segment) are hoping to close the year with 35,000-36,000 units," Porsche India Director Pavan Shetty said.
According to IHS Markit, a sales forecasting and market research firm, sales of luxury cars contracted 4.24 per cent in 2016 at 33,279 units from a year ago period.
"At 35,000-36,000 units, we will be back to the volumes of almost to the 2015 level. Then we should be on a positive traction," Shetty said.
Built on the same production line as other thoroughbred racing cars, the latest four-litre flat engine offering from Posrche comes in two transmission variants of the GT sports car.
Porsche's product range in India include the iconic 911, Boxster, Cayman, Macan, Cayenne and Panamera.
The 911 GT3 model has been made available at all Porsche Centres across the country with a basic retail price of Rs 2.3121 crore.
Sports cars currently accounts for 30 per cent in Porsche's over all product portfolio in India.
Last year, Porsche sold 401 cars in India which was slightly lower than 2015 when its volumes stood at 408 cars.
"Our sales this year so far has been better than last year same period but we still have three more months to go," he said.
However, the best period for the German sports luxury car maker was 2013 when it sold more than 500 units, Shetty said.
High-end car market in India accounts for a minuscule 1.5 per cent of the total passenger car market, which crosed 3-million mark in the fiscal year ended March 2017.
When asked about the impact of the developments such as demonetisation and GST on the luxury car market, Shetty said that business decision are taken on long-term basis and not on shot-term.
"There have been disruptions owing to demonetisation, diesel ban and tax hike, in the India market but that is expected from a growing economy. But decisions have to be taken for the long-term and India is a very promising market in the long term," he said.
However, the GST is not a disruption, but more an enabler for the business going forward, he added.
"At the current level we are on the target and we are where we wanted to be. We are doing what we think would secure our business in the future" Shetty said.
He said that Porsche will be launching its first electric car, Mission E, in India long with rest of the global markets by the end of the decade and has already set up two battery charging stations at its recently launched dealership in Kochi.
"Mission E will be a fully electric car and retain. all the values of Porsche. The car will have a global launch by the end of the decade and will also be launched in India simultaneously unless it goes for modification," he said.
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