Demand for luxury cars boosts Inchcape
As the world economy is slowly trying to revive the scare of global economic slowdown, there is solid demand for premium cars in the UK and Australia has driven up third-quarter figures at Inchcape, the international luxury vehicles dealer. According to the experts, this can be a good sign.
Inchcape, which specializes in the sale of the BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi and Land Rover marques, on Thursday reported a 3.2 per cent year on year jump in third-quarter like-for-like sales to £1.5bn. The growth was fuelled by steady demand for luxury vehicles in the UK – a market that has thrived in spite of the economic downturn lashing the country.
Though Inchcape did not specify sales figures by region, the car dealer said its UK division was buoyed by its focus on the premium and luxury car segment, which is outperforming the rest of the car market. The stronger UK and Australian sales helped Inchcape offset a sluggish performance in Europe, where Inchcape’s operations in countries such as Greece have been hurt by the slump in consumer spending power. Demand for after-sales services in Europe has also been squeezed, while increased competition has also hurt trading in the region. Inchcape’s operations in Russia and some other emerging markets have come under pressure during the period, with margins being pared back.
André Lacroix, who is the chief executive of Inchcape, has commented that, “We have delivered another robust quarterly performance, despite challenging trading conditions in several markets. We operate in the right markets, with the right brands and in the right categories given our scale presence in Asia-Pacific and emerging markets, our focus on premium and luxury brands and our diversified profit streams.” However, the group added a note of caution regarding new vehicle margins, given the increased level of competitive activities and the strength of the yen.