Just like anywhere else, competition in luxury car segment in the Indian auto industry is fiercely fought between German trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz. Mercedes Benz ruled the segment in India for over a decade, but then came competition in the form of BMW and Audi. BMW replaced Mercedes Benz from the top spot two years back in 2009 and have continued to hold on to the top spot.
Currently, Audi ranks as the 3rd largest luxury car manufacturer in India after BMW and Mercedes Benz. According to Mr Michael Perschke, Head, Audi India, “The target to reach the second position in two years is achievable. We take that as a challenge. We would look at leadership by 2015. Next year we’re competing in a new segment (with the Q3 – compact SUV) and stepping up our operations. We’re the fastest growing within the Volkswagen Group.”
Audi has already overtaken Mercedes Benz in terms of global sales this year. The luxury car segment in India, which currently registers sales of approximately 22,000 units annually, is expected to balloon up to 60,000 units annually by 2015. This gives Audi a great opportunity to overtake Mercedes Benz.
Audi India is even contemplating on increasing their manufacturing capacity in India from next year. In 2012, Audi Q3 will be launched in India, which will help them increase their volumes exponentially. By 2013, Audi will launch A3 in India, which will bring the price of their entry level variant even lower, enabling further boost in sales.
On increasing their output capacity in India, Mr Perschke said, “We will test waters at the Auto Expo with hybrids as well – the A3 etron model. Next year we aim to be the fastest growing luxury brand. We hope to sell 7,500 units on a 50 per cent growth.”