Aston Martin in Indian auto market: Managing Director of Infinity Cars Private Limited, Lalit Choudary talks (Interview part III)
Which brands would be immediate competition to the brand? Broadly speaking, from a price point, it would be brands such as Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, etc. However, the values of the brand are very different than the other brands I just mentioned. From cursory review one would agree that the Aston Martin cars are elegant and typically understated – not too flamboyant. Further, they are hand built cars and meant for a select group of buyers whereas some of other brands are typically production cars which produce 10-20x the volume of Aston Martin. The prestige and exclusivity accorded by Aston Martin are unmatched.
Aston Martin is meant to be driven and enjoyed by oneself. But rich Indians prefer being ‘chauffeur-driven’. Again a point against Aston Martin? These cars are very, very powerful. However, it’s not all about a 0-100km drive. They are uniquely beautiful. They are widely regarded as the best looking cars on the planet. The legacy, the heritage, the craftsmanship all make for these wonderfully soulful machines. This point in itself would urge customers to enjoy the experience by driving the cars themselves. Customers often use chauffers to drive them during the week day, but on week nights and weekends its often seen that customers enjoy driving themselves and want as a result a unique and fun car to drive.
What is your positioning strategy for Aston Martin in India. Do you plan to make it a household aspirational name – much like BMW and Audi today? Or you prefer to keep the brand to select, exclusive groups? The brand is meant to be very exclusive with 30-50 units being sold annually in the country. With these volumes split across cities the cars will remain a rarity on the roads. As a result they will retain their exclusivity and remain an aspirational purchase.
After the dealership in Mumbai, what are your future plans? We are currently focused on consolidating our presence in the Mumbai market. With time as the population of cars increase in other cities one will consider establishing a presence. However, this will need to be done with full support of Aston Martin and needs to also reflect the evolution of the market locally. If you’re wondering are the cars imported as fully built units or assembled in India itself, the cars are imported fully built.