Audi Looking to Enter Small Car Market in India

Audi is considering many options as they plan to foray into the Indian small car market, which includes producing their newly launched A1 compact hatchback. Audi’s main competitors in the luxury car market in India, Mercedes-Benz and BMW previously announced about their plans to introduce small cars in the Indian auto market.

Audi India’s head of sales, Anil Reddi, said that India definitely has a large market for compact cars. They are contemplating many options to foray into this market. The key questions they are concerned with are which model, the price and which should be their target market. Their Indian customers are quite demanding, and want only the latest.

Reddi however did not give a time line as to when they propose to roll-out compact cars. Reddi had said that they would be introducing a new variant of the A6 model by 2011s fourth quarter, during the launch of the Rs.65 lakh A7 Sportback in Hyderabad. He said that the existing Audi A6 in India is priced at Rs.38 lakhs, and it was early to give a price the new model, which they will introduce. The new model will be based on the A6 platform.

He said that they are working on introducing the coupe five door crossover that is likely to be introduced by 2011-end or early 2012 in India, when asked regarding the launch of their premium SUV Q3.

The Indian luxury car segment in India is estimated to be around 22,000 models, around 0.7% of the overall car market. They have revised their sales projections to around 5,000 models this year, compared to the earlier 3,000 models last year. Reddi said that they have sold around 2,394 models within 2011’s first five months itself. They are focusing on first and second tier cities as well.

To back their increased sales, Audi India plans to increase their network of dealers in India from 13 to 18. The MD of the company’s Hyderabad dealership, Rajiv Sanghvi, said that Andhra Pradesh was responsible for around 5% of the company’s sales in India. They have already received two reservations for the new A7 Sportback, and anticipate selling about 15 units within the next couple of months.

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