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View Poll Results: Which luxury brands would you consider buying?
Lexus 165 29.10%
Volvo 206 36.33%
Jaguar 86 15.17%
Land Rover / Range Rover 174 30.69%
Porsche 186 32.80%
Mini 69 12.17%
Tesla (coming soon) 187 32.98%
Luxury car from mainstream brands (e.g. Camry, Superb, Carnival, Cherokee, Vellfire) 150 26.46%
Other (please specify in your post) 11 1.94%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 567. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 25th January 2021, 08:48   #1
GTO
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Default Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?-logocollage.jpg

Historically, the big 3 German marques - Audi + BMW + Mercedes - have dominated the luxury car segment in India, controlling over 90% of the sales volumes. In the recent past however, that has started to change. Slowly & steadily, other luxury marques are chipping away at the market-share of the Germans. There are several contributors to that emerging trend:

- The other luxury brands have stepped up the game with truly wonderful cars! Drive the new S60 and you will be rather impressed. Porsche now offers practicality via its new crossovers.

- They have ramped up investments in India.

- Many luxury car customers are looking for something "different". A few are also bored of owning the same German brands over & over again.

- Missteps by the Germans themselves have contributed to customers looking elsewhere. As an example, Audi India is a shadow of its former self. BMW's ugly radiator grille design is a major deal-breaker for me personally.

- Tech: The hybrids of Lexus, offroad capability of Range Rovers, EVs of Tesla...

- Then of course, there are several customers who prefer not to own a flashy brand for personal / business reasons. They will gravitate toward cars like the Camry (a Lexus in disguise) or Superb (an Audi in disguise) which offer you 70% of the luxury car experience at 50% of the price, and without a loud badge on the hood.

Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury brand would you spend your hard earned 50 lakh - 1.5 crore rupees on? Please note this is a multiple choice poll, so do vote for all the brands that you are drawn to.

IMHO, the biggest challenger will be Tesla. Even if their launch pricing is too high, Tesla will eventually go the CKD route and make the prices more acceptable. When it comes to EV technology, Tesla is at least 5 - 7 years ahead of everyone else (I have driven EVs from all the big brands before making this statement). Furthermore, Tesla is also a "super cool" badge which will attract many wealthy Indians. In the USA, the Model S has outsold the mighty S-Class in some years. China? Tesla is chipping away at the market-share of the Germans. Tesla has the brand as well as the product to attack the entrenched players IMHO.

December 2020 retail sales numbers (source FADA):

* Mercedes - 805 units
* BMW - 604 units
* Jaguar Land Rover - 183 units
* Volvo - 123 units
* Audi - 41 units
* Porsche - 24 units

Lexus missing from the list as I don't think their dealers are sharing numbers. If someone doesn't share, it's usually because they are too low & embarrassing.

Mini? They delivered 502 cars in 2020.

Last edited by GTO : 25th January 2021 at 10:11.
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:15   #2
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

Speaking for myself...

Brands I will strongly consider:

- Tesla. When it’s time to buy another luxury car, a Tesla will be the top choice for me. F-A-S-T, fun, cool, a game-changer. I’ve fallen in love with the Model 3 & Model S. Do read my article & experiences here (Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head).

- Porsche: Enjoyable performance, everyday usability and beautiful styling. I love the 911 & Cayman, yes, but even something like the Macan is so irresistible! The damn thing handles like no crossover should have the right to. It’s simply beautiful!!

- Volvo: Their clean & handsome designs greatly appeal to me. Before, I used to find Volvo’s engine & gearbox tuning to be mediocre (it’s something I’m VERY particular about). Now however, they have almost closed the gap to the Germans. The S60’s turbo-petrol and 8-speed AT are fantastically tuned.

Neutral:

- Range Rover: Hate the reliability & “white elephant” nature, although I cannot help but stand still & stare when a black Range Rover Vogue passes by. If ever an SUV could be a piece of art, this is it. Unmatched presence & classiness. I really enjoyed driving one as part of our Official Review (Driven: Range Rover Vogue LWB). If I ever accept its shoddy reliability, I might consider one pre-owned.

Rejected by me:

- Lexus. Their latest designs are way too ugly, the driving experience boring & the price excessive. IMHO, the brand is losing the plot. Their reliability, after-sales service & comfort are of course top notch, but the thing is, Mercedes & BMW (especially) now also offer good to excellent reliability (depending on the model).

- Jaguar: Great looks, SEXY brand & well-tuned suspension hardware…post this, your list will start running out of entries! I don’t like their gearbox tuning at all, nor their reliability & after-sales in India. In terms of driving experience, the mainstream Jaguars can’t touch the mainstream BMWs. I just spent a weekend with a humble 320d LWB and have a wide grin plastered on my face. On the other hand, the XE’s awful gearbox tuning drove me up the wall!
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:30   #3
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

Volvo it is!

1. How well their cars are built (read fit and finish) and their emphasis on making the car stronger internally (crash safety).

2. Looks - Simple & neat. No sharp cuts/creases. They blend into the crowd and give an understated feel.

3. Interiors

Tesla may be my second choice!
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:33   #4
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

Well, I have not been in any of these luxuries nor do I think can have one in this life.
Purely from aspirational point of view, I'll pick a) Volvo for their safety and clean designs and b) Land rovers for their road presence (desirability) and off-road capabilities.
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:34   #5
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

Today, Tesla without a doubt. I have never been much fond of the German big 3. When I could afford such a car, I went for the left field choice, the Infiniti Q50 and more recently a Lexus RX350 FSport with a lusty V6 over an equivalent BMW, Merc or an Audi.

Tesla is the future - fast, electric, massive range, tech and a bit of sense of humour. Who knew cars could be fun in a comedic way
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:54   #6
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

Porsche any day.

Porsche is just perfect. Has a rich history and legacy. Perfectly engineered. All their cars drive and handle perfectly .They are a bit overpriced , but still worth it.

I might consider any of the Range Rovers. I know they are unreliable but you can afford the maintenance costs if you can afford one. And they are just amazing.

But at the end ,I would end up getting a Porsche.

I would not really consider any of the other brands mentioned.

Last edited by Eshan Joshi : 25th January 2021 at 11:22.
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Old 25th January 2021, 10:59   #7
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

I voted for JLR duo, Porsche & Tesla. I believe in "Haathi Palna" than just cheap maintenance, & will definitely grin & bear all the whims & fancies of owning a non-German (trio) luxury.

Tesla, despite not so luxurious interiors, is here for first mover/ entrepreneurship & overall performance than just innovation.
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:10   #8
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

Ranking the Non Big 3 Brands:
1) Tesla - electric acceleration and hopefully a supercharger network when they come in. My hope is that they are well set in India by 2024 when I would look to replace my X3
2) Lexus - the key issue is the nutty pricing of their products in India. If they came at a similar price relative to the Germans as in the USA, they would
be on my list
3) Land Rover / Range Rover - considered the Discovery Sport before buying the X3. The Velar is fantastic as well. Once again, they are asking for too much of a premium in India right now
4) Volvo - Clearly mainstream now
5) “Luxury” cars from other brands - can’t call
them Luxury but I have owned a Superb and will consider a Camry / Carnival et al

Why not the others
1) Jaguar - a bit of a stuck in the middle
brand - wants to be Porsche or Aston Martin - but is actually closer to BMW
2) Porsche - a friend of mine from the UK was once advised by a senior Porsche executive to remember that owning a Porsche is much more expensive than buying one. May be able to contemplate buying a Porsche one day - but don’t think I will be rich enough to own one in this birth
3) Mini - too small, too expensive.

Last edited by Hayek : 25th January 2021 at 11:14.
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:15   #9
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

Me? Either the Carnival or the Vellfire. I tour quite a lot and luxury sedans/hatches have no place on Indian highways barring the expressways both from a safety and convenience perspective.

The Carnival and Vellfire just look so alluring from a touring perspective. If not these vans, then the Cherokee/Wrangler it is. Nothing beats an American SUV that was designed for American freeways.
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:21   #10
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

It's very simple for me, Porsche and Porsche every time (only if I had the money). There designs are just so elegant and eye catching without trying too hard. My personal favourite from the marquee is the Panamera sport turismo, I almost crashed our EcoSport looking at that practical piece of art!
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:23   #11
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

My vote went for the Tesla as well as the Range Rover.

The current Range Rover has been around for some time, But it sits right at the top of the luxury segment without being too rich . There are others like the Cullinan, Bentayga, Urus etc. but the Range rover has that classic business look too.

The main vote would be Tesla. To me it's not luxury. Rather the next step. Like an iPhone back in 2007-2008 in an ocean of expensive Nokia's and whatever was selling back then. The future of cars could perhaps be inspired by what tesla is today.
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:27   #12
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

If not the 3 german brands, would always see Volvo as the safe reliable and luxury brand.

Their presence in India is good and I see Volvo equivalent in capability to Merc, BMW, Audi.

They have SUV and Sedan making the range complete
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:30   #13
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

If I had one choice, I would choose a Porsche. If I had two I would choose a Lexus in addition to a Porsche for everyday use. People have dreams of someday owning a Lamborghini or a Ferrari but only two cars made me go weak in the knees, the Carrera GT and the LFA, both V10s.

As for the other brands, Jaguars are too unreliable, same is the case with a Range Rover, was never really into Volvos and I don't consider Tesla a luxury brand.
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:31   #14
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

Voted all. Dont find reason to exclude any of the brands. Why not Tata if they come up with a luxury vehicle meeting all my expectations. Alturas for example was at par with the fortuner and endeavour and they in turn were offering 70% or 80% of an X5 or GLE at half the price.

It's the car that excites and not the brand. Having said this, it takes years, if not decades for any company to get their design and manufacturing process upto the competition and this finally restricts many of the brands and end up buying among the most popular brands.
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:34   #15
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Default Re: Outside of the big 3 Germans, which luxury car brands would you consider & why?

Not a brand as such, but a car - Porsche Taycan - fast, emission-free and a Porsche.

I would also buy a Tesla. I consider it cool to own a Tesla, but it would be prestigious to own a Porsche.

Last edited by StarrySky : 25th January 2021 at 11:57.
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