High taxes will limit luxury car market growth in India: JLR

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Kolkata, March 10 (IANS) Jaguar Land Rover India, which is expecting higher sales in volume in 2018, feels that high taxation can restrict the growth prospect of the Indian luxury car market, a top official said here on Saturday.

“We sold 3,954 units of Jaguar and Land Rover in 2017 calendar year, registering a 49 per cent growth in sales (over previous year 2016). We are looking for higher sales this year,” said Rohit Suri, President and Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover India Ltd (JLRIL).

Asked whether the luxury car major is expecting to surpass the growth it achieved in 2017, he said: “We do not know. It was very good growth. I do not think it will be 49 per cent (this year).”

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Although the luxury car industry was hoping a good double-digit growth in 2018 as it (the industry) grew by about 13 per cent in 2017, the industry growth could end up in “a single digit or low double-digit” with increase in customs duty and higher taxation in GST, Suri said.

Speaking on higher taxation, particularly in Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, he said: “After announcing GST at 43 per cent for these cars, net taxation has been increased to 50 per cent for SUVs and 48 per cent for Sedans.

“This is very high taxation. This restricts the growth of the overall market as the prices go up with higher tax rates.”

He also said that the customs duty hike as proposed in the budget would further restrict the growth of the market.

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With the 11 per cent market share in the luxury car market in India, the automobile major is optimistic of increasing its market share with “growing popularity” of its cars, he said after opening of a new showroom of Lexus Motors at Rajarhat in Kolkata.

The company’s distribution network stands at 27 outlets in 25 major cities across India, he said.



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