German luxury automaker Audi India expects the current financial year to remain challenging in terms of sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic and anticipates growth revival happening next year only, a top company official said.
Despite difficult market environment, the company aims to keep bringing in new models, including sports cars, in the country during the ongoing fiscal.
"We see the sales coming back towards the end of the year when festive season starts and there is a bit of positivity. So, this year is also going to be extremely challenging with strong headwinds," Audi India Head Balbir Singh Dhillon told PTI.
Only 2021 is where the industry, including the likes of Audi, will see growth happening as compared to 2020, he added.
"Of course, we may not reach levels of the best years we had, but at least we will see growth happening from next year onwards," Dhillon said when asked to comment on sales growth this fiscal.
He added that the current quarter is going to be an extremely tough with sales plunging to a large extent.
"In the first quarter we saw a de-growth and this quarter, April was a complete washout. We are in May and even if we open up in the middle of the month most of the quarter will be gone," Dhillon noted.
So, this year is definitely going to be a very very tough year, especially for premium segment, he added.
Dhillon said that the domestic automotive industry has been facing challenges for almost two years now, first due to overall business environment and then due to liquidity crunch in the banking system.
Besides, there were other challenges like switchover to BS-VI norms and other related factors that impacted the industry.
However, despite such business environment, the company would keep rolling out models in the country, Dhillon said.
"This year, we intend to bring in not only volume products but also very very niche products like sports cars," he said.
As of now, the company is just selling three models in the country.
Elaborating on having few models right now, Dhillon said that with the BS-VI regime in place, the company decided only to introduce petrol models and all new products or trims with major improvement (over the last version) in the market.
"It takes time but we want latest products here. So there are three models right now and there are couple of more products we intend to launch in the next quarter, followed by next quarter," he added.
The company, with 36 sales and service locations across the country, has recently introduced online sales and service initiative in order to enable customers book vehicles from the comfort of their homes as coronavirus pandemic rages on.
The automaker since then has also initiated opening of dealerships in certain states after getting necessary approvals from government authorities.