Luxury car maker Audi to assemble Q5 at Aurangabad facility

Luxury car maker Audi AG, a unit of German car maker Volkswagen AG said on Thursay that it will likely exceed its sales target in India in 2009. The auto major is also considering components sourcing from India for its global operations.

Audi which has targeted sales of 1,500 cars or the calendar year is not revised its estimate to 1,700-1,800.

Given the constraints on production at its German facility from where the car maker imports some cars the final figure would depend on how much the production could be increased according to Benoit Tiers, managing director of Audi India Pvt Ltd. Tiers' remarks came on the sidelines of the launch of a new version of the Q5 sports utility vehicle of which the company plans to sell 450 units this year.

The first eight months of 2009 have seen Audi sell 1,128 cars which is up 62 per cent over the year-ago figure for the period.

Audi assembles the A4 and A6 models at its Aurangabad factory and now has plans for assembling the Q5 from the plant. The operations planned to start in March will see the car being assembled for the first time outside Germany. Assembly in India would attract only 60 per cent duty as compared with 116 per cent import duty on units that are brought in a fully assembled condition.

The company has invested €30 million at the Aurangabad plant, which it shares with group company Skoda Auto India Pvt Ltd. With group company Volkswagen

India Finance Pvt Ltd, the company will also start offering financing and insurance options for its cars by December. These are presently being offered through a tie-up with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.