The Ingolstadt-based automotive brand went down in market by 28.9% in 2019, for a total sales of 4,594 units. The year prior to it was better, but not the best; with sales touching 6,463 units. Meanwhile, the year 2017 saw Audi selling 7,876 units. Put in simple words, Audi India faced back-to-back losses for a period of three years.
2019 sales is the lowest registered by Audi in India since the last 9 years. The last time their annual sales were lower, was in 2009. On the bright side, the brand’s used-car dealership network — Audi Approved Plus — registered an appreciable growth of 11% in 2019, with a sales count of 1,240 units.
On the other hand, Mercedes maintained its position as the No 1 luxury car brand in India. BMW has maintained the 2nd spot. Below is the last 10 years of sales data registered by Mercedes, BMW and Audi in India.
Last year, Audi India was rather dormant (in the regular passenger-vehicle portfolio) with just two launches: A4 facelift and all-new A6. The new-generation C8 Audi A6 reached Indian shores after a considerable gap from its global introduction, with a price tag starting at Rs 54.20 lakh ex-showroom. However, a lot of potential buyers were left disappointed since the mid-level luxury saloon debuted in the country only in a petrol format. Audi India claims that the new A6 was well-received by its loyal customer base, but we are sure it would have easily doubled in sales, had there been a diesel variant.
Even though Audi India is currently going the ‘petrol way’, the automotive group is working on a new diesel strategy for the Indian market. The company is still going through some rough patches with the Volkswagen’s Dieselgate emission scandal; a stain that will remain difficult to cleanse for years. Meanwhile, its primary rivals, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have got a desirable range of diesel models across all major price segments.
However, the slow Indian automotive economy affected the other Germans as well with Mercedes-Benz India registering a sales decline of 9.9 per cent while the figure went up to 13.1% for BMW India. For this year, Audi India plans to conduct two main launches: Q8 luxury SUV and A8 luxury saloon.
The stunning five-seater Audi Q8 is one of the latest products in the brand’s global portfolio and as its nomenclature suggests, it sits above the 7-seater Audi Q7. To an extent, it could be considered as a trimmed-down, more affordable version of the Lamborghini Urus or Bentley Bentayga V8.
On the other hand, the new-generation D5 Audi A8 made its international debut with some of the best and latest technology in the business, almost three years ago. Hence, the Indian market is quite late to the party. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz and BMW India had introduced the latest versions of their respective flagship saloons: W222 Gen 2 S Class and G12 7 Series facelift; within a reasonable gap from their global premieres.