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Audi India eyeing 30% market share, new A8L by Dec

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Luxury carmaker Audi is targeting a 30 per cent market share in the Indian market by next year even as it plans to expand its dealership network to 18 and launch its high-end A 8 model by this year-end, a top company official said today.

Currently, Audi enjoys around 24 per cent of the luxury car market in India, that is pegged at around 15,000-20,000 units of cars.

"We are looking at increasing our market share as well as focusing on profitabilty. By next year we target around 30 per cent share in the Indian market. We expect a huge growth coming from the metros as well as Tier II cities," Audi India Head Micheal Perschke told PTI on the sidelines of the launch of its new showroom here.

The company is looking at selling about 1,000 units during the September-December period this year. So far this year it has sold around 1,876 cars (January-August), as against 1,128 units in the year-ago period.

In August alone, it sold 250 cars, a 46 per cent jump from 171 units in the same period last year.

The German carmaker of the Volkswagon Group, makes cars such as Skoda and Volkswagon, is looking at increasing the dealership network to 18 across the country from the current 10.

"We are looking at increasing our distribution network. India is a strategic market and is growing as demand is coming from smaller cities such as Bhubaneswar and Patna in the Eastern region. We are looking at a 45 per cent growth next year. We are planning to open more showrooms in cities such as Surat, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Indore and Coimbatore," he said.

The premium carmaker is also looking at launching its highend A-8 model by end this year for Indian consumers, he said.

Currently, Audi has showrooms in Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Kochi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Chandigarh and Bangalore.

The auto major had last year sold 1.5-million units globally with China being the largest market.

"India is a key growth market and we are confident of our performance this year and will grow by 40 per cent. We will also invest more in expanding capacity at our Aurangabad unit. We are looking at producing 3,000 cars in India by next year," Audi AG

TURN OVER TO KNOW MORE ABOUT AUDI'S SPECIFIC INDIA PLANS IN CONVERSATION WITH ANDRE KONSBRUCK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, REGION OVERSEAS, AUDI   On the Audi A8L

 

We plan to launch the car in India by December. We will launch it initially with a range of petrol engines (4.2 V8 and 6.0 W12) with the diesels following suit.

On the Q7

We are happy with the response by the Indian market. Currently, we sell about 600-odd units a year and we have the best selling product in its segment. In the recent months, due to the shift to Euro-IV we had to discontinue certain engines (the 3.0 TDI, the 4.2 V8 petrol and the 3.6 V8 petrol), but we've brought the 3.0 TDI back since it is now Euro IV ready. The response for the 4.2 TDI V8 has been phenomenal, part in thanks to our introductory pricing as well. We now offer both cars with the eight-speed automatic gearbox and these changes should make it sell even better

On the Q7's assembly plans

We have no plans to do that. The product is in the middle of its model lifecycle and even if sales rise to say a 1000 units a year, it means about 3000 units for the next three years until the next generation model is out. We don't think it makes economic sense.

On whether Quattro division models can make it to India

We currently sell only the R8 from the Quattro division . Yes, we do have models like the RS5 and RS6 and they do their job of attracting attention but they have limited appeal. The point being, we can probably sell, say 20 cars in the first year, but after that sales tend to wear down to maybe a handful (cue, the R8 - first year 15 units, next year 20 and this year about 10-11 units). We have to make investments at the dealer level, train people and manage inventories which at these volumes is hard to justify.

On the A7 for India

We will make specific announcements on that in due course. Yes, it is being considered for India.

On the Audi Q3 (Audi's baby SUV)

It will be a 2012 model year car, and will be launched sometime next year (we think Frankfurt Motor Show, perhaps). It is an A-segment car for us and pricing is key. We will be looking at the BMW X1's launch and pricing here in India keenly (BMW will launch the X1 in December this year) and then decide on our own strategy for the model. CKD operations are most likely for it.