German luxury car maker Audi AG is not yet ready to upscale its competitive advantage by locally assembling its electric vehicles (EVs) in India, even though competitors such as Mercedes-Benz India or BMW Group India are getting aggressive on the segment.

The company sold only eight units from its EV range in February whereas BMW sold 54 units, followed by Volvo India with 32 units and Mercedes-Benz India with 30 units, as per the monthly data shared by Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations.

Looking for volume

Audi’s global management said that a decision will be taken as part of the whole Volkswagen Group and it requires a certain volume to start assembling the EVs here.

“At the moment in Aurangabad, we produce the A4, A6, Q5 and Q7 (petrol cars). In the inter-group we are also discussing how local production including the best marques could be further developed in India. But, local production of electric vehicles requires a certain volume,” Jürgen Rittersberger, Member of the Board of Management, Audi AG told businessline recently.

He said the company will till then continue to take the import route for selling EVs and some top-end variants in the Indian market. “The eTron series, the eTron GT are available in India, and the Q8 will follow soon,” he added while sharing the company’s financial performance in 2022.

Increasing demand

Globally, Audi AG said its sales of all-electric models increased by 44 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y). The high demand for Audi Q4 e-tron, Audi e-tron GT and Audi e-tron models confirms that the company was on the right track toward e-mobility, it said.

“We are on the verge of the biggest product initiative in our history. By 2025, we will have launched around 20 new models, more than 10 of which will be all-electric. We have set the course to go 100 per cent electric. By 2027, we seek to offer an all-electric vehicle in each core segment. We recently decided to launch an additional entry-level electric model below the Audi Q4 e-tron,” Markus Duesmann, CEO, Audi AG said.

The upcoming Audi Q6 e-tron model series is the first to be based on the new Premium Platform Electric. With it, e-mobility is coming from Ingolstadt (Germany) for the first time, he added.

In India, however, Audi has a tough competition not only from the other two German manufacturers — BMW and Mercedes — but also from the likes of Volvo which has lined-up a series of new EV launches in India either as a semi-knocked down (CKD) or completely built units (CBUs) forms.