New Delhi: India’s small but steadily growing luxury car market has Germany’s Audi AG eyeing 30% growth in the country, its top official in India said.
“The luxury market will continue to expand and India will recover faster from the crisis,” said Benoit Tiers, managing director of Audi India. He expects sales to grow 30% to 1,500 units by the end of 2009.
Audi, which anticipates a 10% drop in global sales this year, has defined India, besides China and the US, as a key strategic market.
Key interest: Benoit Tiers, managing director of Audi India, has identified India, China and the US as strategic markets.
Last year, in its first full year of operations, the car maker sold 1,050 units, making it number three in a market so far dominated by Mercede-Benz India Pvt. Ltd, which sold 3,635 cars followed by BMW India Pvt. Ltd, that came in second with 2,908 cars.
Audi, which assembles the A4 and A6 sedans at its sister company SkodaAuto India Pvt. Ltd’s facility at Aurangabad, Maharashtra, and imports the A8 sedan and Q7 sports utlity vehicle (SUV), plans to launch in June its Q5 SUV, which is being prepared for the Indian market.
For its next phase of growth, the company is also working on appointing dealers outside the large metros. The company currently has a dozen dealerships scattered across India and plans to add three more in smaller cities such as Kochi, Lucknow and Jaipur by the end of the year.
Once it has dealers in more cities, the company said it would be in a position to better target hotels and rental companies. It expects to sell 150 units to this segment, compared with 20 last year.