Audi set to enter the Indian luxury car market

With the appointment of dealers in Mumbai and New Delhi, Audi signals its intent to enter India

Mumbai: In its most significant strategic move since China, Audi, the luxury car maker, whose sales performance for the first four months of this year was the best in its history, will begin its foray into India by setting up a dealer network.

Being in the right place at the right time is something that Audi has already managed to achieve in China. With the establishment of a dealer network in India, Audi is now betting on what it believes will be another key market of the future.

Following the conclusion of two dealership agreements at the key strategic locations of Delhi and Bombay, and one in Bangalore therafter, Audi will be represented in the market from July 2004. With this first step of setting up of the dealer network, Audi's sales target is to sell 1,000 vehicles in the next five years. In the short term, Audi aims for sales in the triple-digit range in the six months ending March 2005.

"We will take up a sporty position and watch carefully the way the market develops. There is still a lot more potential in this market, and we certainly intend to exploit it," says Joerg Hofmann, Managing Director, Asia Pacific Region, Audi AG.

With half a dozen luxury cars, some perhaps better known brands, due to make their entry into India,  how does Audi plan to meet competition? "The luxury car market in India is still small, making up less than 1 per cent of the total market. That means the growth potential is definitely there for all players in the luxury car segment, " says Sunil Kaul, country manager, Audi Asia Pacific.

"The luxury car segment in India tripled in the last five years and is expected to grow by 25 per cent this year. With India being the fourth biggest market in Asia, we see it offering excellent opportunities for Audi. It is the right time for us to enter this promising market," says Kaul.