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Ferrari cruises into India, looking to tap wealthy consumers

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ferrari SPA, Amadeo Felisa (L), and the chairman of Shreyans Group, Ashish Chordia (R) unveil a Ferrari 458 during the launching of its first dealership in India on May 26, 2011. The full range of sports cars from the Italian manufacturer will be on sale in India, with the cheapest model the California priced at 22 million Indian Rupees (USD 485,000) after punitive import tariffs of more than 100 percent are applied.


Italian luxury carmaker Ferrari opened its first showroom in the Indian market on Thursday, as the Fiat subsidiary looked to tap the growing number of rich consumers riding the rise of Asia's third-largest economy.

Ferrari joins other iconic carmakers such as Aston Martin and Lamborghini in India, where despite huge import taxes that will push the price of its cheapest model to $485,000, demand for expensive cars and luxury products is soaring.

"The Indian market is ready in terms of customers who want to drive Ferrari cars. We are not targeting volumes, we are looking for Indian drivers who have the money and the taste for exclusivity," a Ferrari spokesperson told Reuters.

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Indians are the most likely to splurge on private jets and yachts in the future, a Citigroup report said last month. The country is home to over 125,000 millionaires, a 2010 report by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management said.

Ferrari's foray into India comes seven years after the carmaker began sales in China, which is set to become the world's biggest luxury goods market.

Ferrari will open another showroom in the country's commercial hub of Mumbai next year.

The Italian carmaker's target of 8,000 sales per year within eight years depends on India, Latin American and China, where the carmaker expects to sell 500 cars this year, Ferrari's President said last month.

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