Landmark Cars: Betting Big On Festive Season The company is eyeing a 30 to 40 per cent increase in sales during the upcoming festive season, says, Sanjay Thakker, promoter and executive Chairman, Landmark Cars Limited
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The Indian automobile industry plays a key role in both macroeconomic expansion and technological advancement of the country. India's auto market is the world's third-largest, CY 2022 experienced a remarkable growth last year. Notably, there has been a discernible shift towards premium and luxury cars, with SUVs gaining popularity. The rising demand for commercial vehicles and the upcoming festive season has further bolstered the market. Landmark Cars, as a retailer of premium and luxury vehicles in the country, is on a spree to leverage these trends.
The company got listed in December 2022, Landmark Cars has established strong partnerships with top OEMs viz. Mercedes, Honda, Jeep, Volkswagen, Renault, and BYD, positioning itself as a professionally managed retailer with a significant market share. "We haven't even completed one year of being listed, it's a new journey. Globally, the auto dealerships have played a very meaningful role in developing the auto market. It is surprising why it has taken such a long time to have a dealership listed chain, we have opened the doors for the sector as the industry needs organized capital and more compliant organization," said Sanjay Thakker, promoter and executive Chairman, Landmark Cars Limited.
The Indian luxury car market is expected to reach a value of over $1.54 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of more than 6.4 per cent during the forecast period 2022-2027, said a report by Mordor Intelligence. The rapid premiumization trends witnessed in India indicate a vast scope for growth. As per reports, mainstream segment sales escalated by 23 per cent to 3.79 million units last year, with vehicles priced above INR 10 lakh accounting for 41 per cent of the volume. Industry estimates suggest that over 9,500 luxury vehicles were sold in the first three months of this year alone, marking a nearly 10 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. Seizing the opportunity, Landmark Cars aims to be a leading premium vehicle retailer. "The Indian taxation structure has been so designed for a very long time that we are kind of pushed into buying small cars.Globally, 60 per cent of millionaires buy luxury cars. In India, this number is around 4 per cent, so we still have a huge runway ahead of us. Our strength lies in the premium and luxury segment and we want to focus on them, where the average selling prices are between INR 10 – 12 lakh before GST," he added.
The company provides a comprehensive range of services covering new vehicle sales, financing, insurance, after-sales service, spare parts, and pre-owned vehicles, its after-sales business has grown at a 20 per cent CAGR over eight years.
With the onset of the festive season the company is eyeing 30 to 40 percent increase in sales. "This is a long festive season, there is a lot riding on the industry in the period between September to November.. The main will start from 15th October onwards for another 40 days or so. That's the peak period which most people are banking on. We estimate a sale of 30 to 40 per cent more than normal months. However, the estimates are supply driven, there will be high demand but the supply from OEMs will determine the outcome as for higher ranges the waiting period is longer."
Speaking about the trends shaping the auto industry, he said, "There are more women buyers, especially in the SUV category, the number of younger buyers for luxury cars are on the rise, the average age of Mercedes buyer is coming down continuously. Globally, there is a shift, where 50 per cent of the vehicles sold are now SUVs which was only like 30 odd percent, four years back. Sedans too are doing well, dominating the other 50 per cent."
Another key aspect of Landmark Cars' strategy is the thriving after-sales and used car business. While selling new cars is undoubtedly a crucial part of the automotive business, the after-sales service and support offered by dealerships can significantly impact customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. The new car dealers are hardly selling around 3 to 4 per cent of the 5 million cars sold in India. "This is a great opportunity to be in and we have decided to focus our energies into developing this market. If we are able to provide customers with quality pre owned cars with service history, warranties, annual maintenance contracts, then there will be a trust factor and the potential will increase."
As part of its commercial vehicles business, Landmark Cars has onbarded Ashok Leyland, which is a profitable business. "As of now, we are watching this space and are not looking to expand this business," he explained.