Supercars have always dominated the automobile industry when it comes to attention-grabbing. And rightly so! Supercar manufacturers have always paid attention to the tiniest details, the performance, both on and off the track, the comfort level – every little thing about a supercar is crafted with utmost precision and focus with the best interest of their customers in mind.
Hence, it becomes a no-brainer why supercars come with ridiculous price tags. However, that is not the only reason why the number of supercars sold in India is low. Price is definitely a factor, but there are also players like public image, status, practicality, and a lot more that have to be considered.
For reference, Lamborghini India sold 52 cars in 2019. 50% of that sales came from South India.
In India, people love and will almost always prefer the backseats of a vehicle to get the most out of their comfortable leather as possible. Indian businessmen also don’t like the idea of sitting in the front row and driving a car for two hours at high speeds on a car that can literally spell death.
They prefer safety by buying a classic model and hiring a driver to get the job done, all the while enjoying the view of the city on their way back home. It may be a bit too much to say human tendency is to prefer to love comfort more than the performance of the car, but this theory is true to a point. People would prefer comfort over hassle every single time.
To find a parking spot for such a supercar is a big question mark. For instance, in India, especially in Mumbai, it would probably cost you over one crore just to find a suitable parking spot for your supercar. That is nearly one-third of what you would pay for a supercar itself! At Cuffe Parade, it takes a crore to have a parking spot.
Also if you try to find someplace to park, chances are they would already be filled by someone else. India is a big country (It is the 8th largest country in the world, in terms of land area), yet ironically there is not enough space for supercars, because of the level of care and security they need when it comes to storing them.
After finding a beautiful spot for parking your supercar, let’s assume in your home if you take your car out for just a single round and park it on streets just to get something or to a movie theater imagine what the crowd will do.
No wonder, in most Indian car spotter videos you’ll notice that Supercar owners in India have a private bodyguard. They keep looking after the car while it’s parked on the road and may also need to do crowd management. If someone tries to mess his boss’s most prized treasure, it could cost the owner a fortune just to restore it.
This is one of the biggest problems for a supercar driver. Imagine all the trouble he has to go through avoiding enormous speed breakers. The low ground clearance that the car comes with make it quite difficult.
Supercars are designed to be free birds, and speed breakers are the cages that do not let them spread their wings and fly. Supercars are designed for speed and mobility. Getting surprised by a speed breaker at high speed in a supercar is a serious safety hazard. Adding to it is the fact that most speed breakers are not marked properly and it’s difficult to see them from a distance. Many supercar owners get transportation services like flatbeds to move these cars from their garages to the highways and then start driving them.
A magnet to the public
Owning a supercar and riding it on a street will grab people’s attention like anything. In India, if people just spot a supercar they might leave their current work and stop and watch or even take pictures unless the car is gone.
This is not just in the case of supercars. Even bikes face the same trouble. This happened to one of our Bollywood stars (who shall remain unnamed). He said that every time he took his Harley out for a ride, people would always want to race him. This was the reason that he had to go as far as to sell that bike.
Attention from the neighborhood
In India, if you get a normal car with no one knowing what you are up to can be quite an easy task, but having an INR 5 crore car is like shouting out to every person in the neighborhood (or even the entire city) that you have something great going on. This attracts a lot of attention in your locality. This can also include people who are looking to scam or steal from someone. Not to forget, your relatives.
Relatives are always ready to give you the advice you did not ever need – where to invest, why not to spend such a large amount on a car, where to have your cash rest instead – So even in view of something as silly as this, people run from the idea of owning a supercar.
Indian’s search for practicality
As Indians, we can all agree that a spacious trunk is more important than spacious two-seaters, at least for most people. Most people in India prefer a sedan or even an SUV over a “toy” that they can only use on the weekends. It just seems more practical, because India is a developing country and needs have to be met before money can be thrown at toys.
Roads are a big issue for Indians as well. Except for national highways and expressways, nearly every road in India is provided with a speed breaker. And if that isn’t the issue, the roads themselves are very poorly maintained and laid down.
With supercars, and with the power they possess, they deserve to touch the red line on their dashes, but in cities, it becomes really hard to drive even in second gear. This is one of the reasons for not getting a supercar – the cars are famous for their vicious speed but when they’re undrivable on public roads, what’s the use of getting one?
Age of Owners
Most of these supercar owners are self-made billionaires and to reach that level it takes time. The average self-made billionaire is around 40 years. After that age, no one wants to get a car that is as fancy and is suited best for a 20-year-old. Not to mention, Supercar can be quite uncomfortable with thier hard suspension and tight interior space.
From a practical point of view, no one would want to waste their hard-earned money on stuff like supercars which are so hard to drive in India. So many Indian billionaires avoid supercars because of safety, as well as their mature age. A Maybach fits better with a 40-year-old than an Aventador.
Low Speed Limits
Driving in India is not an easy task even if you’re in a regular car. All sort of vehicle are on the road: Pedal Rickshaw, Electric Rickshaw, Cars, Motorcycles, Scooters, Cycles, Trucks, Buses, Auto Rickshaws, Horse Cart, Bullock cart, Pedestrians, you get the idea…
And don’t forget Jaywalkers crossing the road randomly looking at their phone.
Looking are this scenario, the speed limits are set quite low in India, even on National highways. So to prevent accidents cops see to it that the speed limits aren’t breached.
Image and PR of the company
Business is full of ups and downs, but imagine that your company’s stock gets a hit and all of sudden all of a sudden you get yourself an Audi R8 out of nowhere. It might damage the image of the company and also the PR.
An incident related to this issue was when a really famous personality’s son was driving a car and was questioned by the media about the funding of the car. This caused him to not be able to drive it safely, resulting in a crash.
High Taxes on Imported Cars
Taxes are something that every rich person dreads. And when it comes to imported CBUs (Complete Built-Up cars) in India, it causes a gigantic hole in the owner’s wallet.
Tax is what causes the price of cars like Lamborghini or Ferrari to amount to around 4 – 5 crores. Almost double of what that same car cost in the United States. But when a Maybach or BMW assembled locally, the cost is greatly reduced. So really consider your options when buying an imported car, or a local one. Understand the hidden numbers because they can be the difference between a vehicle being either extremely overpaid or a best bargain. A basic supercar in US, Audi R8 will cost over Rs 3 Crores onroad.
With so much back-end technology and support available at a moment’s notice, the cost of maintenance will obviously be high than you could think of. Some brands don’t have the proper mechanics to handle these cars so they have would have to call experts from out of the country and make them solve the problem which will be a huge amount of cost for these people.
Some supercars don’t even have proper service centers in parts of India to maintain the entire service system properly, which is a huge mess for supercar owners. So always remember – if you worry about the cost of maintenance you can’t get to afford a supercar.
Demands Driving Skills
One of the most important things that come to mind when we talk about supercars is who can handle a high-end madhouse of raw power that can all but empty itself at the push of a button? And who has the ability to control such speed? One might have the skill but are you prepared to deal with what Indian road throws at you?
People’s lives are literally at stake when traveling in a supercar because you can never tell how you may lose control over a 700 horsepower engine. It only takes a fraction of a second to cause a fatality.
Cost of the repairs
If there are any damages caused to these supercars, you should be ready to pay the price. Literally, these fixes can cost you around a seven-figure check. Even small errors like an electrical short circuit will cost you a heavy check as well. Even if you have the money for repairs, good luck finding replacement part in India warehouse. It’ll most likely have to be imported so be prepared to wait for few months.
Those were just some of the issues of why supercar sales are extremely low in India. Of course, if more steps could be taken in order to promote local manufacturing of parts and whole cars even, then maybe we could see a shift in perspectives.
Checkout: Next-Gen Hypercars
Practicality is a big consideration when buying supercar in India. No wonder, Lamborghini Urus launch in 2019 was a big hit for the company as they received 50 bookings for it. Unfortunately, there was a waiting period of 6-8 months
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