The diesel ban may have been lifted on the condition of paying 1% green cess, but Audi India believes that the damage has already been done. The company estimates that it may lose around INR 760 crores in sales this year due to the negative sentiment that surrounds the diesel vehicles now.
The different excise duty rates on diesel vehicles that were imposed by the last budget as well as the ban that prohibited registration of diesel vehicles with engine displacement higher than 2.0L in the NCR proved to be counter-productive to Audi India’s 2016 campaign.
The green cess of 1% makes the bigger engined Audi diesel vehicles such as the Q7 almost a lakh dearer in the NCR now. So, the lift of ban only comes as a partial relief and the sales loss may continue.
The German luxury car maker is planning to respond to the sudden change in customer sentiment by introducing petrol variants across its Indian model lineup by the first quarter of next year. The soon-to-be-launched Audi A4 which will be available with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine is the first model to market Audi’s new strategy.
The new gen luxury sedan will be launched shortly. Diesel variant will follow later while decision of a more powerful petrol variant would be taken based on the market demand.