On the eve of Audi's latest car launch in India, Michael Perschke, MD, Audi India, spoke to Kushan Mitra on why he feels bullish about his company's plans for India.
How was 2010 for Audi in India?
In 2010 we sold 3,003 cars, a 81 per cent growth year-onyear. We also opened several new dealerships, expanding the network to 14.
What are your plans this year and what role will smaller towns play in them?
We plan to expand our dealer network to about 18 or 20 by the end of the year and increase our sales at least 50 per cent. We will be opening dealerships in Ludhiana, Indore and Surat, which speaks of the role smaller towns will play in our growth.
What are your product plans for 2011?
Right now we are launching the long-wheelbase version of the A8, which should give us a competitive edge in the top-end of the premium car segment. Around the third quarter, we will launch the A7 Sportback and the new A6 in the fourth quarter.
How do you see the luxury car market growing in India?
I believe that by 2020 the Indian automotive market will be five million units annually and that luxury vehicles will make up two per cent of the market. This will be less than China where luxury vehicles account for six per cent of the market already, but this will represent a 20 per cent growth over the next decade for luxury vehicles. I see Audi India having a 28 to 30 per cent share of this market.