Audi is in the midst of a range revamp in India and has entered the BS6 era with just three models on sale – the A6, Q8 and A8 L. While the updated A4, Q7 and Q5, the all-new Q3 and e-Tron electric SUV will join the line-up over the next year, Audi’s showrooms won’t be devoid of cars in the interim period. The German carmaker will have its range of pre-owned cars share the spotlight with the new models.
In a #LiveWithAutocar chat on Instagram, Balbir Singh Dhillon, head, Audi India, spoke about the viability of large dealerships and how the company’s pre-owned business, Audi Approved Plus, fits in. “You are right, you don’t need such large showrooms anymore. Maybe you can have a different format where you have more of a digital experience. But at the same time, there is one more factor which we also take care of right now – Audi Approved Plus, our pre-owned car business. So a showroom would be a combination of new cars as well as pre-owned cars. This is a combination that we will use in the times to come.”
Stressing on the importance of the used car vertical, Dhillon added, “The pre-owned cars business helps us target entry level customers who wouldn’t otherwise look at owning a luxury car. We try to give them an Audi experience ahead of them buying a new Audi car. We’re also giving a good experience to the customer who is selling his Audi. So for us we are facing two prospects at once.”
Audi Approved Plus grew 11 percent last year, with 1,240 sales, and the expectation is that the business will grow in 2020 amidst the slowdown.
Interestingly, Audi’s decision to go petrol-only in the BS6 era could actually have a positive rub-off effect on its pre-owned car business. Commenting on the diesel demand driving used car sales, Dhillon said, “I’m sure there will still be diesel car enthusiasts, and not 100 percent of all the potential buyers we will be able to convert to petrol from diesel. So yes we understand we will lose a part of the (new car) market for sure. But yes, if somebody really wants diesel then pre-owned cars business could grow.”
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