In line with the trend followed by most car manufacturers in the Indian market, Audi India has also taken the decision of increasing its car prices by 1-2%. The new prices are going to be effective from 2012. Even though the Indian automobile industry is experiencing a slowdown in recent times, most of the auto manufacturers have been forced to implement price hikes on their car models. Even the premium car manufacturing company of India, Maruti India has been forced to raise its prices despite the fact that it has suffered a relatively slow year in terms of sales. However, Audi, which is a maker of luxury cars, has been relatively conservative in terms of increasing prices, as compared to some other car manufacturers. This is indeed surprisingly if we look at the fact that the company has been significantly affected by the fluctuations of the Indian Rupee.
Michael Pershke, President – Audi India, had been one of the first persons to admit that the car manufacturer had been hurt badly by the depreciating value of the Rupee and were mulling a price increase to compensate for the same. It is to be noted that the entire fleet of Audi cars are imported as completely built up units to the Indian markets and the company has to pay huge custom duties for the same. This includes its lowest priced Audi 4 at Rs.27.69 lakh to its peak priced Audi R8 that has a price tag of Rs.1.47 crore. This has made it all the more imperative for the luxury car maker from Germany to increase the prices of its cars in order to make up for the high import costs that it is having to pay following the depreciation of the Indian Rupee against the US Dollar. The other factors that have contributed significantly towards increasing the costs of its manufacturer include the high inflation rate at one end along with the poor economic condition in the Euro zone.
Audi India has plenty of reasons to celebrate as far as the Indian auto market is concerned. Though the Indian market has seen an overall slowdown, it is one among very few car makers that has been able to register significant growth. It also needs to be added that the segment of luxury cars has been least affected amongst all the segments. However, this cannot in anyway undermine the superb growth of 80% that the company has registered till November this year. Audi is expecting to grow by a further 40% in the year 2012 and has planned out two key car launches in the year. The two mentioned cars are its sedan, the Audi S6 and its SUV, the Audi Q3. The S6 is expected to be launched in Q2 of 2012 whereas the market will see the Q3 will come in the second half of 2012. The luxury car maker has high expectation from both these cars, as far as the Indian market is concerned.