Demand for Pre-Owned Luxury Cars to Increase Post Pandemic - Sumit Garg, Luxury Ride| Interview

Arjit Garg
·4-min read

COVID-19 induced lockdown took a massive toll on businesses across the globe including the auto sector in India, which was one of the most affected sectors in the country. As the things improve and lockdown is lifted gradually, automakers have started to show signs of healthy recovery. However, trade analysts are still skeptical about luxury car market, as the post-pandemic purchasing parity has suffered massively. We got in touch with Sumit Garg, MD and Co-Founder, Luxury Ride, a pre-owned luxury car showroom to understand the impact of coronavirus on used luxury car market and the future ahead.

[q]Tell us about Luxury Ride and its Operations.[/q]

[ans]Co-Founded by Sumit Garg and serial angle investor Dhianu Das back in March 2015, Luxury Ride is India’s fastest-growing and largest chain of pre-owned, multi-brand luxury car showrooms, offering end to end services from buying, selling, servicing, insurance, roadside assistance to car modification and more. Luxury Ride has a strong market hold in North India and is currently present across Delhi, Karnal, Ludhiana, Dehradun, Jaipur, and Chandigarh, through a mix of owned and franchised outlets. Its Karnal showroom is India’s biggest, single location pre-owned car showroom spread over 1 acre land in a building of 4-floors, with display capacity of 50+ luxury cars. [/ans]

[q]How is Luxury Ride different from other pre-owned showrooms?[/q]

[ans]Luxury Ride have a mixed profile of customers from younger to mid aged and so on, and mainly the ultra HNIs, HNI, upper-middle-class, businessmen, bureaucrats, and others. Luxury Ride has sold 1000+ cars, serviced 10,000+ cars and boasts of 4000+ customers. Luxury Ride has showrooms have 3S services, provides a 15-day money-back guarantee. The car servicing facility provided by Luxury Ride is available at 1/3rd of the price, and starts at Rs.9999/-. [/ans]

Luxury Ride recently has ventured into exotic /sports cars segment which will be now 10% of the overall stock. By the end of this year Luxury Ride will open two showrooms in Ludhiana and Gurugram and soon after they are going to open showrooms in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Indore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, and Pune.[/ans]

[q]How badly used luxury car market has been hit by Covid-19?[/q]

[ans]The pre-owned luxury car segment has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in India. There was hardly any business in the month of April and May, it was no profit months for us. However post lockdown we have successfully sold our inventory. We saw a decent business in August and September. In the recent situation the organised pre-owned luxury car market is expected to do better and this trend is likely to be there post COVID era too.[/ans]

[q]Do you see festive season elevating the demand?[/q]

[ans]No, not increasing surprisingly! There is a huge cash crunch for every buyer. No doubt the demand for preowned luxury cars has been increased post lockdown but there is not as huge demand of luxury cars during festive season which was last year. [/ans]

[q]How do you see the future of luxury Indian used car market?[/q]

[ans]The future of luxury Indian used car market will see a surge in demand. There is huge traction coming from the tier II and III cities of India, and it is going to get more intense with the time. The pandemic has also affected the consumer buying behavior, and the demand for pre-owned luxury cars to continue and also expect it to play a pivotal role going forward. [/ans]

[q]Online business is becoming a big thing these days. Your thoughts?[/q]

[ans]Yes, online business is becoming a big thing these days and also during this lockdown we have seen tremendous hike in its online sales which is 40% now and at the pace which it is moving is hoping it to reach it to 70% sales from online sales by the end of this year. We are soon going to launch our mobile app which will be available on both IOS and Android, it will have features like an online booking EMI calculator, comparison sheet, and 360 degree video of the car, virtual reality showroom tour, service history and online submission of documents, payment gateway and many more services.[/ans]

[q]Tell us about your inventory and any special car you have in the portfolio.[/q]

[ans]Luxury Ride has a wide range of most premium luxury brands from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Lexus, Mini and Land Rover to Bentley and other 50 different luxury cars. We have added Lamborghini recently to our portfolio which will cost customer Rs 1.25 crore and if they purchase new one it will cost them Rs 4.7 cr.[/ans]