Although 21% lower than in the pre-Covid period, registrations in the luxury segment have been high over the past year and appear to be increasing day by day, RTO officials said. Even though overall registrations were lower than the pre-Covid period, some high-end cars such as Lamborghini, Bentley and Rolls Royce saw more registrations in 2021-22 than in the pre-Covid 2019-20 period.
Car dealers said Hindi film industry actors and producers were regular buyers and many were selling old cars and replacing them with new luxury ones.
The statistics showed the Tardeo RTO had the highest number of import and luxury car registrations at 550 in 2021-22, most of which had buyers from South and Central Mumbai. Its lead was followed by Andheri RTO from the western suburbs – which serves the Bandra belt in Jogeshwari – with 444 luxury car registrations.
The Wadala RTO in the eastern suburbs recorded 224 import car registrations and the Borivli RTO 135.
The highest listings were for a BMW model at 912 in Mumbai. Next came Jaguar at 173, Audi 86, Mercedes 84 and Porsche 58. Imported cars included nine Lamborghinis and an equal number of Rolls Royces, according to the statistics. On average, four luxury cars were registered daily. Several buyers had reserved luxury cars with a six-month waiting period, dealers said.
During Covid, people didn’t have the option of vacationing abroad. Thus, there was an increase in disposable income and some preferred to spend it on luxury cars.
“There has also been an increase in the number of businessmen opting for high-end cars,” said a dealership, adding, “Some businessmen have actually made money despite the pandemic, including those of pharmaceutical companies and brokerage firms, and exporters, among others.”
Some of the buyers are those who upgrade their personal vehicles every few years. They typically use a luxury car for a few years before replacing it with a higher variant or another car model, the auto industry sources said, adding that sales of more than a thousand luxury cars in a year were a good indicator for the economy, especially the automotive sector.
The RTO also collected revenue from 20% registration fees on imported vehicles. An official said revenue from imported car registrations over the past year has exceeded Rs 200 crore.