The number of millionaires in India is rising and Aston Martin is very eager to tap into this market by opening its first showroom in the country. High-end goods in the second-most populous nation in the world have been selling very well. To date, it has 55 billionaires and counting. The Kemps Corner dealership is located in a residential area in Mumbai, near Porsche and Mercedes-Benz showrooms.
According to Bill Donnelly, director of sales at Aston Martin Lagonda Group Ltd., the carmaker is planning to build the second dealership in New Delhi this May.
In an interview, Donnelly said that “the timing is right” for Aston Martin to enter the Indian market. He explained that currently, the market for high-end sports cars in the country is small but it is rising very quickly. Aston Martin predicts that in the next five years, a quarter of its sales will come from Asia and the Middle East compared to 10% presently.
Ferrari is also planning to open a Mumbai showroom. Just last week, Maserati (one of Fiat S.p.A.'s supercar units) opened its first showroom in India. Aston Martin opened its showroom to the theme music from James Bond. The V8 Vantage, its cheapest model, has a starting price of 13.5 million rupees ($303,657).
Meanwhile, its Rapide sedan is priced at 21.5 million rupees. Aston Martin forecasts that it can sell up to five One-77 supercars at 200 million rupees ($4.5 million) in India. Donnelly said that Aston Martin could sell as many as 30 cars in 2011.
Aston Martin is set to open its first facility in Mumbai, and this event will mark the company’s debut in India. They are partners with Performance Cars which is under Infinity Cars Pvt. Ltd, and is a company that has had a prominent presence in the Indian luxury car market in recent years.
Michael van der Sande, Chief Commercial Officer of Aston Martin, said that their entry into India “represents a new opportunity” for the company and is a realisation of their strategy to increase the international reach of their dealerships, given that India’s high-end consumers are part of their new target audiences.
Aston Martin’s foray into India is motivated by the high interest levels they see from potential buyers within such an expanding high-end consumer base. The company was very careful in their process of forming alliances and believes they have chosen correctly as they build a successful partnership going forward.
Lalit Choudary, Managing Director of Performance Cars, mentioned that they also see their alliance with Aston Martin as a special chance to facilitate the entry of the legendary brand for the evolving luxury consumers in their rapidly developing market. The brand’s success in India is being confidently predicted due to consumer awareness that their selection range all provides the requisite levels comfort and prestige.
The Aston Martin Mumbai dealership can be found at the Kemp's Corner, at the intersection of the Altamount and Peddar roads – a very posh area. It will be laid out like a luxurious boutique where customers can indicate their desired car and its specs. Nearby, a separate after-sales facility can be found in Worli.
It is the first luxurious workshop in the region and comes complete with air conditioning among others. The design of both the showroom and after-sales establishments reflects the trademark premium sophistication that Aston Martin is internationally known for.