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E-car ready, but India should have the infra: Audi

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 18, 2018 Published on January 18, 2018

Rolls out new Q5 priced ₹53.25 lakh onwards



German luxury car maker Audi will not like to be left behind in the electric vehicles race in India, but it will first look at what infrastructure does the country provide before launching its product e-tron.

Launching is easy, but one has to look at what infrastructure is there — whether there is enough charging points and what happens when one has to drive longer like Delhi to Chandigarh — if there is answer to that then launching is not an issue, Rahil Ansari, Head of Audi India, told BusinessLine.

e-tron is a global product from Audi which will be launched in 2019-20 globally.

"For high technology products there also requires preparation for the entire infrastructure — finding trade people, setting up dealers and service points. The e-tron will be the perfect match for the Indian market. It's mix of a SUV and crossover," Ansari said on the launch of the new Q5 here.

He said the e-tron will give a range of around 400 km in a single charge.

Audi globally has already opened bookings for the e-tron in markets such as Norway (around 2,500 bookings) and also the e-tron Sportsback, which is expected to come a year later.

The company aims 30 per cent of its sales to come from electric vehicles by 2025 globally, and plans to introduce one EV model each year starting 2020.

Speaking about the current market scenario for the luxury cars market in India, Ansari said 2018 will be a good year and the industry will grow a double-digit growth.

“There were uncertainties in the market last year because of demonetisation and GST...high-low peak in July, August and September. The first two quarters were quite challenging, but we performed better than many others did,” he said.

Going forward, he said don't know what's there in the Budget, but make luxury cars affordable. Because, if they are affordable, there will be many opportunities, he added.

For instance, 'if you have lower tax, it will be more affordable and that would mean reforms in infrastructure development, more dealers... and more employability,’ Ansari said, adding that the buyers are already paying high tax, so cess has to come down.

Meanwhile, the company launched the all new Q5 SUV priced at ₹53.25 lakh to ₹ 57.60 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). This is the second generation of the Q5, the first generation launched in 2009.

Powered by a 2-litre diesel engine, the Q5 can attain a top speed of 218 km/h, while delivering a mileage of 17.01 km per litre, the company said. Audi has sold over 16 lakh units of the Q5 globally till date.

Audi India is the third largest luxury car seller in India after Mercedes-Benz India and BMW India.

The company sold a total of 7,876 units in the Indian market last year, logging a 2 per cent growth over 2016, while Mercedes sold 15,330 units, BMW (with Mini) sold 9,800 units in 2017 calendar year.

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Published on January 18, 2018
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