Audi Will Launch 1 New Model Every Quarter in India in 2020
Audi is attempting to regain its top spot in the Indian premium automobile segment and will focus on small-town markets rather than Delhi-NCR, and Mumbai.
2019 Audi A6 Image for Representation. (Photo: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)
German luxury carmaker Audi is planning to roll out at least one new model every quarter next year and has put in place a strategy for India, where it has been facing heavy headwinds since 2015. At the launch of the eighth generation of the sedan A6, Audi India chief Balbir Singh Dhillon also urged the government to look into the auto industry's demand for lower GST, which can offer the luxury segment some elbow room. Audi India, which lost the dominant position to the compatriot Mercedes-Benz in 2016, currently is the third-largest player in the premium segment with another German major BMW commanding the second position in the market.
"We will be launching at least one new model every quarter next year. In addition, we are also planning some more things that will cover all aspects of our business," he said. Audi has devised strategy 2025 for India, which is a six-year programme with the customer at the core, he said adding, it involves all stakeholders including dealers and the people at its global headquarters. Strategy 2025 will look into all aspects of the business such as how many new models should be launched and in what timelines as well as the innovation and technology required for long-term sustainable growth, he said.
"There are multiple verticals within this strategy including product, manpower and profitability, connectivity, electrification and digitisation," Dhillon said. He said though the auto industry has not yet completely come out of the tough time there is a positive trend now. "September and October have been relatively better with the number of queries growing," he said and exuded confidence that the market should revert to stability in the next couple of months.
"We are optimistic, but cautiously," Dhillon said as he expects 2020 to remain tough given the implementation of BS-VI norms which will jack up prices. "The change will come with a certain level of uncertainty," he quipped. He said the high GST rate is a big drag on the premium auto segment which is only 1.2 per cent of the over 3-million units annual auto market and if the taxes are lowered it will be an opportunity for the industry to expand the segment. Audi is also focusing on small-town markets with its workshop-first approach, the share of Delhi-NCR and Mumbai has come down to 35 per cent now, from a high 50 per cent a few years back.
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