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View Poll Results: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?
Yes 176 35.06%
No 326 64.94%
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Old 27th November 2020, 08:42   #1
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Default Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

My question is quite simple and straightforward, "Is it worth buying a premium car (BMW, Merc, Audi, Volvo etc) in our country?"
Yes or No (accompanied with explanations, please)
Hoping to hear from you guys!
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MODS: I couldn't find a similar thread, only one on how to buy one and make it worth your money.
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Old 27th November 2020, 08:52   #2
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

If you ask the same question to an average middle class Joe commuting in peak city traffic from point A to point B on a Pulsar, he'd definitely say it's a waste of time and resources.

If you ask the same question to, say, enthusiastic fellow BHPians like graaja, Dr.AD etc., they might tell you that it's totally worth buying a premium car.

In the end, it's a subjective thing to talk about. If you think it's worth your time, money and mental effort then I'd say go to your nearest showroom and cut a cheque for something you like there.
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Old 27th November 2020, 08:53   #3
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

The kind of attention, special treatment, respect, status symbol and bragging rights that you get by owning Mercedes Benz, Audi, Jaguar, BMW and Volvo to some extent in India is almost equal or even substantially more to owning Bentley, Rolls Royce, Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, etc. in America, Europe or any other developed countries in Asia.

So yes, it's worth for THAT. For more practical and various other reasons we do have cheaper and better options.

If you want it and you got it then you flaunt it.

Last edited by RavSam : 27th November 2020 at 08:55.
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Old 27th November 2020, 09:12   #4
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

I had a vacant apartment and every other day I seemed to be paying something for it. Maintenance, electricity bill, property tax, some special sinking fund and so on. I felt like someone brainwashed me into doing something really dumb. I sent it to Germany and they returned it with wheels and engine. I feel really smart now.
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Old 27th November 2020, 09:18   #5
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

Practically speaking, the safety tech on offer is stunning in these cars.

Mercedes Benz had a public PR event at MMRT in Chennai which we attended. They had an E-250D( previous gen) in which they showcased what the ABS could do. Pretty basic stuff that was expected and I was about to mock MB saying even cheap cars have that.

Next thing I know is that the driver lowers the front passenger side window, where I was sitting, and guns for the corner right after the long straight at full throttle. Then he tries drifting the car with the passenger side facing some obstacles. I knew he will get control of the car back but what the car did was amazing- using the electronic seat belt tensioners, the seat belt pulls back my body firmly to the seat and also automatically closed the window to prevent/reduce any injuries resulting from external factors.

In short, I was more than impressed and I believe there is value in these cars however overpriced they might be.
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Old 27th November 2020, 09:23   #6
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

This is a very subjective question with no correct answer. It depends on you alone. Don't get me wrong when I say this, but you don't buy a car for public approval. It is your passion and love towards the car that makes you buy it even if the whole world is saying against it. Just listen to your heart and make a decision, after all it is you who will drive and take care of it.
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Old 27th November 2020, 09:30   #7
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

With an intention to give you simple and straightforward answer...

Hypothetically, let's say I'm asking this question to...

Mammootty (KL cine actor), MS Dhoni - Yes
My neighbors who have built houses for 2 Cr - No
Mr. Mukesh Ambani or PM - No (probably because he might think Rolls Royce or Dauphin and Sirkorsky are much better than Merc & Audi)

In Thamizh we say a coloquial proverb, "pallu irukkaravan pakkoda sappiduvaan" means, one who has teeth (implied strong) can chew crunchy pakkoras. Which analogies to, those who has money can afford to flaunt on things they like

Last edited by aargee : 27th November 2020 at 09:32.
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Old 27th November 2020, 09:31   #8
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

What I belive if you have a nice place to park your premium car, safe, free from vandals etc then it is worth having a nice car. If you do not own a decent place to park your car then you will be spending sleepless nights worrying about your fancy wheels. I would avoid a luxury car if I do not have secure parking as for me its not worth risking a ton of money at the mercy of external factors like passersby, irresponsible children etc. It all depends in the end if buying that particlar item will give you the satisfaction of owning it.
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Old 27th November 2020, 09:51   #9
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

It is also a function of an ‘aspirational’ value while growing up. The average joe on a pulsar starting a career in his mid-20’s will say that owning a Merc is a waste of time. But 20 years hence , and assuming he does well and climbs the ladder , I bet he’ll think of owning one.

Where I am hinting to is that , all of us have a notion of something of luxury that we feel is non-utilitarian today , only to acquire it as a need later.

What’s life after all , if we can’t aspire and keep aspiring.

I would have said NO ( I actually remember saying no) 25 years back when I was driving my Suzuki Samurai. I’m 2020 , I almost was nailing down between a Merc / Camry. It’s a different topic that I postponed it and booked a Thar , but I will definitely want to own one Merc sometime soon.
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Old 27th November 2020, 10:00   #10
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

A premium car is akin to owning an elephant in the old days. Any one can buy one, but few can afford to maintain it properly for years to come.

As others have pointed out it is all about economics. If you can afford the capital cost and the maintenance, then yes it is worth it. I assume that those who buy 1cr+ cars have ample space to park a few of them.

If parking is at a premium, then you cannot afford them, so it is a no.


For some a premium car is a BMW 3 series, for some it is S Class and for some nothing less than Rolls. So it all depends on your nett worth and aspirations.
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Old 27th November 2020, 10:05   #11
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

Ask someone who doesn’t care about maintenance costs, someone who will dispose the car off the moment it is out of warranty, someone who doesn’t care if his car gets dings and blemishes in our traffic. He will say - why not? It’s just like owning any other car!
But ask me, and my answer will be a bit different.
In 2014, my ikon turned 14, and we realised that it really is time to buy a new car, because it not only felt outdated, but also had tonnes of mechanical issues. The W204 C-class was about to be discontinued, and there were some irresistible offers. Without even a proper test drive we got one home.
The first thing that struck me was the fact that how nerve wracking it is to drive in traffic. Coming from a 14 year old Ford Ikon, we realised that dings and scratches hurt far more in a brand new car, specially if it costs so much. Then, there are our roads. With such low GC, one has to think ten times before taking it on a road trip.
Also, you cannot just park it anywhere. There are vandals, there are bikes and there are random people who think of it as free real estate for hanging out.
So what did we do? Thankfully, because of its zero resale value, we hadn’t sold the ikon. We spent about 70-80k in making it nice and reliable, and then we had a decently balanced garage. The ikon for all the rough usage, and the Merc for the highway runs, weekend drives etc.

So in conclusion, yes it is well worth owning a Merc or similar car, because the Safety, performance, Feel good factor, ride quality and the feeling of being cocooned from the noise of traffic is unmatched by any other car. Just ensure that either you don’t get very affected by traffic injuries or you have an alternative car that does all the rough duties.

PS. It’s not like I don’t love my Ikon. We bought it brand new in 2000, and since then, it still remains an integral part of my garage. but it’s just that if it does face traffic injuries, it does not cost too much money to fix things up.
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Old 27th November 2020, 10:18   #12
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

Personally, I would say no. Spending 40-50 lakhs on a luxury car is not only beyond my means, but also seems a colossal waste of good money at this stage in my life. Indian conditions are not really suited for cars which are typically built for the good road infrastructure of the western world. My opinion would probably have been different 5-8 years back, when I would tend to think less pragmatically and more emotionally.

Huge maintenance costs, reliability concerns and the general headache of not being able to drive one in a carefree manner on Indian roads completely offset whatever pleasure I would get if and when I finally could purchase one.

Also, today cars which are a segment or two down offer incredible value as compared to true luxury brands nowadays, and I would probably opt for those if I had to really plonk 30 lakhs and above on a car.
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Old 27th November 2020, 10:51   #13
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Default re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

Worth it, but only if you have spare / disposable money around. Totally NOT worth it if you have to stretch for the loan EMI. Many 20 - 35 lakh cars now offer you 80% of the premium car experience at 50% of the cost.

There are several positives, including the unmatched driving experience, luxurious cabin, top-class safety & the lure of the badge. It's very hard to move from a high-end German luxury car to a regular machine. I'm addicted for life.

On the other hand, the cons are also long. These cars are all overpriced to buy, exorbitant to maintain, you have to drive / park them very carefully and their reliability isn't as good as the Japanese / Koreans.

Heck, drive the current-gen Camry and you'll be surprised at how it offers you a comparable experience, with top reliability & reasonable ownership costs. Toyota has really dialled things up a notch with the latest Camry.

For me, it's worth it because I live for cars and appreciate the 530d's engineering each time I take it out. 7 years up and she still brings a smile to my face every time I fire her up. I loved the driving experience of my C220 as well & remember that car very fondly.

Worth it = Used
Not worth it = New

Voted no since we're probably talking about the new car market here.

Last edited by GTO : 27th November 2020 at 10:54.
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Old 27th November 2020, 10:55   #14
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Default Re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sreesh1009 View Post
My question is quite simple and straightforward, "Is it worth buying a premium car (BMW, Merc, Audi, Volvo etc) in our country?"
Yes - for people who have money to spare on luxuries.

If one has enough to sustain his family, secured future needs and has no other spending/investment planned or taken care of then he can for sure.

Personally, I like to ride for long tours and drive just a safer car for family. So would buy a decent sport tourer, and a Tata Nexon. And I get more satisfaction in spending that extra money for betterment of people and environment which gives me more happiness than loitering around in a Merc/BMW/Audi.

No - for people who don't have that kind of money or squeezing every drop of juice available to buy one.

Exemption: Yes for those who are passionate and only buying one can make them sleep.

Added benefits of owning one:
1. You get a special reception and treatment in hotels, parties, or anywhere - sad part of discrimination, but why not to enjoy it if one can afford.
2. Usually they are safer and the ASC experience is better.
3. Most of the time, people get out our your way when they see one in ORVMs and hear the horn with a different perspective than that of a Fortuner/big SUV.
4. Rides are plush and comfy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post

Mr. Mukesh Ambani or PM - No (probably because he might think Rolls Royce or Dauphin and Sirkorsky are much better than Merc & Audi)
Agree with your point, but on another perspective - Mr. Ambani do have BMWs but used by the security personnel. So its good that some lucky people enjoy to drive them at the expense of Mr. Mukesh.

Last edited by saikarthik : 27th November 2020 at 11:00.
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Old 27th November 2020, 11:14   #15
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Default Re: Is it worth buying a premium luxury car in India?

Hey guys,
Thanks for your valuable inputs. I'm only 18 and have a long way ahead, I'm fuelled with passion to earn the moolah for all of these things but am never sure if it's the right thing to do. I was status driven from the beginning of my teenage years but now I've realised how much further I can go if I become a wealth creator.

Coming back to the original topic, I really like the power and pure luxury the Germans offer but I also know that I will never be at peace with cars of those stature. I'd rather put that money in stocks, real estate or donate some of it (philanthropy has been something I've always wanted to practice) and probably get myself something like Camry/Innova/some SUV from the Honda stable, if it's ever released.

Thank you guys!
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