Martin Josephi
CEO
Grand Chelem Group
/
View from the Top

Beauty, Personality Drive the Super Exotic-Car Segment

By Alejandro Enríquez | Tue, 12/07/2021 - 11:46

Q: How has Grand Chelem performed during the past year?

A: We opened dealerships in June 2020 and the experience has been really positive despite supply shortages. Demand has been strong and our partnership with different brands has allowed capital to flow into the business. We have seen consistent growth since we started and we even opened a dealership in Polanco in July 2021. We have implemented solid strategies bolstered by the reputation of the brands and products we represent. Our brands follow current trends regarding electrification, connectivity and infotainment systems. Our product portfolio is exceptional and we are looking forward to good years ahead.

Q: What elements are influencing the performance of Grand Chelem’s brands?

A: Chip shortages are affecting the sector but demand is growing. The pandemic created complications in planning because there was an imbalance between supply and demand. A year and a half ago, the sector did not know how serious the crisis would be. Fortunately, in our sector, vehicle demand did not drop as heavily as expected. The luxury segment is recovering faster but we are also seeing a recovery in volume brands. Overall, demand in all segments continues to improve.

We had record sales of Lamborghini in 2019 but after the pandemic and production suspensions, we do not expect to surpass 2019’s levels because there is not enough product. We expect to break records in sales of Aston Martins thanks to the DBX arrivals. Today, demand is higher than the volume on hand.

Q: Grand Chelem’s armoring branch, STARKE, is starting operations in a competitive armoring market. How is this business line advancing?

A: Mexico is an expert in armoring. While conditions in Mexico can seem like a vulnerability for our exotic car market, they represent an opportunity for our armoring business. Mexico’s armoring segment is strong but there are still opportunity areas. Our added value comes from the sale of armored vehicles at our six dealerships in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Puebla, not considering the Jaguar Land Rover dealerships. We also provide aftersales service for the armoring segment and are able to provide financing, maintenance and additional services for STARKE customers. This segment has been growing and we are optimistic it will continue to do so. Most armored cars are SUVs but we can armor all types of cars.

Q: How is Grand Chelem’s business supported by its used-vehicle branch, Iconic Broker?

A: Our used vehicle segment has grown greatly. In some cases, used vehicles are reaching prices similar to new models. During the pandemic, demand for used vehicles helped to deliver  healthy numbers for our business. Grand Chelem has the advantage of a diversified business portfolio that helps it endure crises.

Q: How are you promoting your brands and new vehicles with the limitations to in-person events?

A: It is difficult but we are focusing on certain milestone events, such as the presentation of the Lamborghini Huracan at Plaza de Toros Mexico. We will also present new models in open spaces and we have the Koenigsegg tour this year. Our priority is to keep our customers safe, so we are keeping an eye on restrictions to ensure health and safety at all of our events. Fortunately, things are going well and people need these events.

Q: What is the customer profile for the super-exotic vehicle brand?

A: We have a wide variety of customers. There are those who are brand-oriented and stay with a single brand. Others value special pieces, such as Catarham or Morgan, which are niche antiques that rarely will be used, while some prefer the latest models, such as the DBX. Customer profiles for the Jaguar Land Rover brands are also quite different because most of them prefer the outdoors.

That is the beauty of a wide portfolio, each brand has its own personality and the most successful are those that can demonstrate that to their customers. We also have customers who like to collect and escalate to higher-end models, such as Koenigsegg or Rimac.

The market is on a good track. Twenty years ago it was rare to see a Lamborghini but is no longer the case.

Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst