Audi to launch newer versions of luxury cars in 2011

Audi to launch newer versions of luxury cars in 2011

Chennai:Buoyed by growing car market in India, German luxury car-maker Audi India would launch three newer versions of the A8, A7 and A6 series in 2011 in the country with the aim of increasing its domestic market share, a top company official said on Monday.

“We will launch the A8 with a larger wheelbase by the end of January or beginning February. Then we will launch A7 in May-June and later in the fourth quarter of 2011 we will launch the A6," Audi India director Michael Perschke said at the launch of new Audi retail outlet “Jubilant Motors".

Stating that Audi has been witnessing stiff competition in India with entry of many luxury carmakers, he said the launches would help the company achieve a 23-25% market share.

“In China and Japan, we are the number one (car maker). In India and in the US we are growing very fast. In India ... you (carmaker) need to be patient. We intend to reach 23-24% market share this year of the targetted 30%", he said.

Perschke said the launch of R8 5.2FSI coupe on Monday with the upgraded V-10 engine would boost the company’s image in India as the earlier version( R8 with V8 engine) was voted the “Supercar of the Year in 2008".

The R8 car is launched in India as a completely built unit, he said.

He said Audi hoped to sell 4,500 units in 2011 as compared to 3,003 units in 2010.

“After phenomenal growth last year, we are looking at a number of 4,500 units this year. That’s the minimum (number)we expect", he said.

Besides, the company also plans to increase number of dealerships from the present 14 to 20 by this year end. “This year, we will have a presence in Surat, Ludhiana, Nagpur and Indore. We want to take advantage of the strong brand image we have", he said.

At present, Audi India assembles A4, Q6 and Q5 models at its Aurangabad plant in Gujarat. The plant with a single shift, has a capacity to produce 4,500-5,000 units.

“If we go in for double shift then we will be able to produce 10,000-12,000 units. Hopefully, we should begin it in 2013", he said.

Perschke said the A4 and A6 segment contributed 25% and 20% of the sales, respectively, while the remaining was contributed by Q7 and Q5 models.

About 33-35% of its regional sales came from the national capital region while 23-25% was from Mumbai alone. Chennai contributed about eight per cent to total sales, he said.

Audi Chennai CEO K Subramanian said the company has sold 227 units across all variants in Tamil Nadu and expect to sell about 400 units this year.