Audi India, which has been trailing the luxury car competition in terms of retail sales, is hopeful that its strategy to introduce an aggressive model line-up will help clock higher sales going forward.
The OEM, which had lost a lot of ground on the back of transition from BS IV to BS VI, launched the facelifted Audi Q5 on November 23. The Q5 which is amongst the most popular offerings from Audi India, contributed around 15-20 percent of its overall sales. Powered by a 2.0-litre TFSI engine, the Audi Q5 boasts 249 hp power and 370Nm torque and is being manufactured at the SAVWIPL plant in Aurangabad. It is being offered in two variants – Premium Plus and Technology priced at Rs 58.93 lakh and Rs 63.77 lakh respectively (ex-showroom India).
Commenting on the launch, Balbir Singh Dhillon, head of Audi India said, “Today, we have launched our 9th product for 2021. Historically, the Audi Q5 has been amongst our bestsellers and we are confident that this new model is going to be no different. With more enhancements, the Audi Q5 offers a perfect amalgamation of luxury, sportiness, comfort and everyday use.”
Dhillon stated that “2021 has been a great year for Audi India with sales growing by over 100% in the first ten months” albeit a lower base. The company aims to launch “several more key models in 2022.”
When asked about his target for reaching pre-2020 sales numbers, Dhillon said he hopes that within a “couple of years” the brand maybe able to attain the same. But it will also mean that the “overall luxury market needs to grow or else it will be just OEMs eating away each other’s market share.”
He also hoped for rationalisation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on luxury cars, which will allow the market to grow sustainably. A reduction in GST on luxury cars by July 2022 could further help accelerate sales for the luxury car segment.
Electrification and charging network
As is the case with OEMs globally, Audi India too has launched 5 electric vehicles in India. While the luxury EVs are priced around the Rs 1 crore mark, the idea is to test the market before it makes a case for local manufacturing.
The German carmaker had also announced its intent to set-up around 100 chargers across the country by end-2021. Dhillon says, at present 40 charging stations have already been installed, and the OEM has already finalised the locations and earmarked investments to expand its network to 100 chargers by January 2022.
When queried about the potential of manufacturing electric vehicles in India, Dhillon said that its existing manufacturing line for ICE vehicles cannot handle EV manufacturing. “It will need to invest a similar amount (at par with ICE production line) to produce EVs in India.”