After a quiet few years, Audi will be picking up the pace and refocusing its energies in the Indian market. The past year alone has seen the German brand launch new and updated models, including the A6 sedan, Q8 SUV, A8 L limousine and more recently, the performance-oriented second-gen RS7 Sportback. With its sights set on revitalising the brand, the automaker is working towards bringing in a bevy of new products and technologies into the country. Read on to know what’s in store.
- Range of sedans and SUVs being readied for India launch in 2020 and beyond
- Despite limited size of Indian luxury car market, Audi sees strong potential
- India to feature in Audi’s electrification strategy
Audi India lines up new-model launches
In an interview with Autocar India, Hildegard Wortmann, member of the board of management for Sales and Marketing at Audi AG mentioned that the luxury car company has charted out a five-year plan for India. Without divulging many details, she said, “We have a full pipeline of future product launches across categories – from sedans to compacts to SUVs – as well as technologies.”
The next product to roll out of the Audi stable will be the RS Q8 super-SUV that has been confirmed for a launch in our market this month. Continuing the carmaker’s efforts on expanding its SUV range will be the Q2 which, when introduced later in the year, will form the entry point to the brand in the country.
Also being lined up for a launch in our market are the facelifted A4 and Q7, as well as the second-gen Q3. The new A3 and Q5 facelift are other models which are India-bound in 2021.
The slew of new products is expected to bolster the luxury carmaker’s stand against stiff competition and though regaining the position it once had as the luxury segment leader in India “would always be obviously a significant milestone”, the board member emphasised that the company will focus on quality over quantity as it works on the future of premium mobility.
We have a full pipeline of future product launches across categories, from sedans to compacts to SUVs – Hildegard Wortmann, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing, Audi AG
Indian luxury car market small, but Audi sees potential
With estimated sales of 35,000-38,000 units last year, the luxury car segment accounted for just 1.2 percent of the Indian car market. However, citing a 2019 study by the World Economic Forum, Wortmann commented that the Indian auto industry is one of the fastest growing markets globally and consequently the carmaker “definitely sees strong potential for growth in the Indian market”.
Audi India put out a muted performance in 2019 with sales of 4,594 units, down 28.91 percent from the previous year, and marking its third consecutive decline. “We are aware that our sales volume is still not where we want it to be. However, we are confident about the potential that this country has for premium cars in the medium to long term. We are committed to a strong Indian market,” said the sales and marketing head.
Audi to double down on electrification
Electrification is set to become an important directive for Audi as it plans to globally invest around €12 billion (roughly Rs 1.06 lakh crore) by 2024 to accelerate development of the new technology. By 2025, the company’s portfolio is touted to include 30 electrified models, of which 20 will be all-electric. Audi is also gunning to increase the share of e-model sales to about 40 percent of the total.
To achieve such ambitious targets, the automaker is banking on synergising with other Volkswagen Group companies. The brand, for instance, is partnering with Porsche for the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture that underpins the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT. It will also be sharing Volkswagen’s MEB platform for compact and mid-sized models.
India too is set to feature in Audi’s electrification strategy. “We believe India’s focus on clean, sustainable mobility – driven by consumer, economic and environmental concerns – dovetails perfectly with our shift towards an electric future,” explained Wortmann.
Notably, all new-age Audi models introduced in the country, including the A6, A8 L, Q8 and RS7, sport mild-hybrid technology. Moving forward, the company will also be launching the all-electric e-tron SUV, which has already been showcased in India.
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