Audi bypasses BMW, in terms of numbers
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The numero uno spot in the luxury car market of the Indian auto industry has now been grabbed by the German car maker, Audi by outpacing BMW, another auto giant of the same origin. BMW had been ruling the luxury car market for the past last three consecutive years.
Audi delivered 759 cars in June 2012, against 750 units sold by BMW. , which clearly portrays the slowdown in the current car market. To make matters worse, sales volume has also been affected in the premium segment, which usually remains unfazed by hike in interest rates and fuel prices.
Commenting on the success of Audi India, Michael Perschke, Head, Audi India quoted, “It's the Audi effect, where customers are pulled by the strong brand that is reinforced by the largest line-up of luxury products offered in India. We did not target to be market leaders in 2012, but would like to build the momentum with new product offerings and stronger dealership network to sustain this newly-acclaimed feat in the long term. It's a pleasant surprise. We were targeting leadership only next year.”
Interestingly, plans of the German auto giant seem quite contradictory at a time when the Indian auto industry is facing not-so-good times. Several big names of the Indian car industry witnessed fall in sales of their luxury cars during Q1 of the current fiscal. Considering the performance of BMW, the sales of the company stood at 2,088 units in the same period, reporting a fall of 12 per cent from 2,377 units sold in the corresponding period last year. On the other hand, Audi India performed fairly well than its competitor as its sales in Q1 surged 52 per cent to 1,908 units against 1,254 units registered in the same period last year.
The hostile market conditions are not in the favour of India’s third biggest player of luxury car market, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz as well. In the Indian market, the company started its business operations back in 1996, and since then, it has been striving hard to acquire a leading position in India’s luxury market. The car maker witnessed a decline, with sales of just 1,257 units in the first quarter of the current financial year.
In October 2011, Audi outpaced Mercedes-Benz in the global arena and thereafter, acquired second position in the Indian industry in March 2012. The brand with the four rings aims to have a dominant position in the Indian market by the end of 2015, but with the unexpected response gathered by its compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) Q3 as well as A6 and A7 Sportback sedans, it gained enough sales figures to outpace BMW in June 2012 itself.
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