15th Sep 2018 6:01 am
Company says slow pace of growth not a concern, establishing the brand is key.
Ferrari believes that steady growth takes precedence over sales numbers for the Indian market. With yearly sales of 20-25 units, India accounts for a miniscule portion of total sales but the Italian supercar maker is unperturbed, as it feels it is vital to strengthen brand value, which will automatically lead to continuous growth.
In an interview with Autocar India, Dieter Knechtel, CEO, (Far East and Middle-east), Ferrari said that the company is strongly focusing on smaller markets such as India because he feels they are slightly overlooked.
“India is a very important market for us but the supercar segment is very small. Sales are a bit more than that (20 units/year) and we are growing every year. For me, it’s important that we are continuously represented in the best way possible. The growth can be slow, it doesn’t really matter as we are not chasing numbers at all. Although sales aren’t very high, every allocation we provide is sold easily,” Knechtel said; and also added that the company is seeing a large interest for the 488 Pista and the 812 Superfast.
Indian customers are very focused on the top of the Ferrari line-up – models such as the 488, which form the core of the overall sales – as against entry-level cars like the California. However, Knechtel says the soon-to-be launched California replacement, the Portofino, could attract first-time Ferrari buyers in the country. “The California was one of the most successful models in Ferrari history.
Perhaps India is bit more of a sportscar-minded market. Portofino offers even higher value and versatility than the California, so it could be an interesting car for India,” he said.
Ferrari recently organised a track day at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai to boost customer engagement and brand awareness. The company believes such events are a great tool to bring new customers into the brand. “Apart from attracting new customers, track activities also enhance the ownership experience; because once you buy a Ferrari, we want to make sure that you have a lot of fun with it,” Knechtel said.
In terms of expansion, the brand, which has a dealership and service centre in the north (Select Cars – Delhi) as well as the west (Navnit Motors – Mumbai), is keen on having a service centre in the south as well. “We have cars in south India – where we are now on steady ground and I want to make sure that these cars are in good hands. So we are keen to have a representation there, sooner or later, for service,” Knechtel said. At present, the company is catering to the service needs of customers in South India in a mobile way.