Business Today

Mr Luxury

Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: July 24, 2011

Ashish Chordia is the man who brought Porsche, Ducati, Maserati and Ferrari to India in the past four years. And customers cannot seem to get enough of them. There are over 1,000 Porsches, for example, on Indian roads.

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"Customers from small cities are also beginning to look at luxury cars as a way of expressing themselves," says Chordia, Chairman of the Shreyans Group, one of India's oldest luxury car retailers. He cites the example of Kanpur, whose residents have bought 10 Porsches to date.

"Demand coming from these cities is not surprising," Chordia says, pointing to the findings of a survey displayed on his computer screen. "This segment is growing fast because Indians are getting richer and have more disposable income."

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Enough to spend on a Rs 2-crore plus Ferrari? Evidently, yes.

Chordia says that he has been inundated with enquiries since he opened the Ferrari showroom on Delhi's Janpath in May.

"There are waiting lists for almost all our cars, some of them a few months long. And the funny thing is, every person buying such an expensive car is 'important'. So when I get a lot of calls (from people seeking to skip the queue), there's not much I can do."

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Rising petrol prices are not hurting demand either. The best-selling car in Chordia's portfolio is the diesel version of Porsche's sports utility Cayenne, which costs Rs 68 lakh.

"We recommend people fill 97 octane in these cars. It costs close to Rs 80 a litre, but when people want performance, they're ready to pay," he says.

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