July 2015 | Dr Ralf Speth

Designed to delight

The class of people in India buying luxury cars is burgeoning, and that is vrooming good news for brands such as Jaguar and Land Rover, writes Dr Ralf Speth

With an estimated 125,000 high-net-worth individuals — a figure set to grow to 900,000 by 2020 — India is rapidly becoming an important premium car market. In terms of ownership patterns in luxury automobiles, the country is one of the ‘youngest’ in the world thanks to favourable demographics. Put these two factors together and it becomes apparent that this is a market with great potential for international brands.

Due to rising wealth and aspiration levels, buyers of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands in India are getting younger. These status-conscious customers want to make a statement about their level of professional and personal achievement and, unlike in earlier times, they are not reluctant to reward themselves with extravagant purchases.

Jaguar and Land Rover customers in India are well-informed and well-travelled. They have a global perspective, stay up to date on advances and trends in the automobile industry, and are willing to share and exchange views with their peers and in the social circles they belong to. The expansion of social media and digital platforms has increased awareness of consumer products and luxury cars fit right into this matrix.

Among Indian luxury car customers are, of course, the wealthy and those joining the club in rapidly increasing numbers. There are established industrialists and businesspeople in the mix; owners of small and medium enterprises from business fields; lawyers, architects and socialites, and achievers from the realms of entertainment, fashion and sport.

Though it is growing fast, the current ownership demographic in premium automobiles reflects the still nascent nature of the segment in India. In most markets of the developed world, there are other customer groups — such as corporate figures and those in middle management, and bureaucrats and diplomats from the government side — who are also able to buy into the premium segment. In India, too, this is a sizeable segment, but at an early stage of development. It is expected that with overall economic development, and as salaries and disposable incomes go up, the segment will contribute to an exponential growth of the car market in the country.

Jaguar and Land Rover are relatively new entrants in the Indian market (they were launched in the country in 2008). Our strategy has thus far focused on raising brand and product portfolio awareness while offering a world-class customer experience through our burgeoning network of dealerships.

To serve the increasingly discerning Indian customer, the Land Rover brand offers the finest all-terrain vehicles, products that suit the emerging lifestyle of a growing group of sophisticated owners. With the Jaguar brand, customers can own and drive vehicles that are agile, sleek and seductive. These are high-quality creations that perfectly combine performance and design. Simply, Jaguar and Land Rover have the qualities to endear themselves to India.

Dr Ralf Speth is the chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover

This is part of the cover story about the customer-centricity culture of the Tata group featured in the July 2015 issue of Tata Review:
Chairman's message on customer centricity at Tata
Read all the articles, and more, on Tata Review
Harish Bhat: It's in the culture
R Mukundan: A new equation begins to bloom
Bhaskar Bhat: In the centre of the circle
Jaguar Land Rover: Who's at the wheel?
Titan Company: Substance in the style
Tata Motors: In for the long drive
Tata Motors: A healthy obsession
Tata Global Beverages: The connection is tasty
Tata Chemicals: Bridges are for building
Tata Power: Generating affection, too
Tata Communications: A telecom tune to hum
Rallis: Reaping the good wind
Tata Sky: The signals are clear
Jusco: An operation apart
Tata Steel: Bonds made of steel