New Delhi: Ferrari launched its first dealership in India on Thursday, seven years after it entered China but with the same aim of satisfying demand for flashy cars from the growing class of Asia’s super-rich.
The full range of sports cars from the Italian manufacturer will be on sale, with the cheapest model, the California, priced at Rs2.2 crore ($485,000) after punitive import tariffs of more than 100% are applied.
“We decided that after 2010 India was ready for Ferrari,” group chief executive Amedeo Felisa told reporters at the launch of the dealership in New Delhi.
“New models are coming this year on the market, so why not use this moment to enter a new market?” he said. “India is the 58th country where Ferrari is present in the world.”
There are already about 50 privately imported Ferraris on India’s potholed and congested roads, including one belonging to Indian cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar who reportedly drives at night to avoid the traffic.
Ferrari said it sold about 300 cars from 12 dealerships in China in 2010, about 5% of the total 6,500 cars produced annually by the Maranello-based group.
The number of Indians who have financial assets of over $1 million, excluding main residences, now stands at 1,27,000, the 2010 World Wealth Report by Merrill Lynch Capgemini says.
According to a recent survey of 160 financial advisors by the private banking arm of Citibank, Indians are also the most likely members of the global super-rich to spend on private jets and yachts over the next few years.
In April, Aston Martin joined the list of luxury marques driving into India, where Ferrari’s long-time Italian rival Lamborghini already has a dealership.
In 2008, Ferrari had conducted a ‘Magic India Discovery Drive’ in India, covering more than 13,000 kilometres and touching 57 cities over 74 days as part of a market testing exercise.
Felisa said globally, Ferrari sold 6,500 cars in 2010 and this year, the company expects to do much better.
The US is Ferrari’s biggest market, accounting for about 30% of sales, followed by Germany, while Japan is the biggest in Asia.
He said the Great China region, comprising China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, also has great potential and could become the company’s second largest market.
The company sold about 600 units in the region last year.
PTI also contributed to this story