Audi India to start local production of Q3 compact SUV in 2013
The Indian arm of Audi, a renowned German auto maker and subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, has revealed intentions to begin the local assembly of its compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) Q3 from its Aurangabad based manufacturing unit. The company is expected to start domestic production of Q3 somewhere around second half of 2013 and the move could play a significant role in bringing down the vehicle's price tag in Indian auto market. At present, Audi Q3 competes against the likes of BMW X1 compact SUV and to some extent also against Mercedes Benz B Class Sports Tourer in the country.
Recently, the German auto giant has started manufacturing its flagship Q7 SUV from its Aurangabad facility and has prioritised its production of its Q range vehicles, which drive most of sales for the company on Indian turf. According to reports, Audi witnessed a strong surge in its total vehicle sales that stood at 7,267 units between the January and October months of 2012, as against 4,692 units sold in the corresponding period last year.
Expressing his views on importance of Indian auto market, Michael Perschke, Head, Indian division of Audi, said, “India is the fastest growing market for Audi worldwide, and in India we are the fastest growing luxury car brand. We sold 5511 cars in 2011 and plan to end this calendar year with 8000 cars.”
Michael Perschke further informed that annual production yield of the company's Aurangabad unit's is around 12,000 units, with two shifts working in the mid term and close to 9,000 units, while working in short term. At present, the world class production facility can assemble around 7,500 units to 9,000 units per annum, by working on single shifts. The Audi India Head further expressed desire of reaching the projected annual yield up to 12,000 units every year, within the next 18 to 24 months (second half of 2014 or by 2014 year end).
Commenting on how the estimated increase is annual output could help the company's growth projections and market share in India, Perschke said, "Our board is reviewing the plan on volume requirement. In the next six to twelve months we will look at a new plan. Right now, the Aurangabad facility is sufficient to cater to the demand in India."
Perschke refuted the rumours associated with Audi India is establishing a state-of-the-art green field unit in Gujarat and said that such speculations are baseless and no such plans are in the offing. However, Audi India said, “But, Gujarat chief minister gets to know about any plan to have a green-field unit, am sure, he will ask us to come for a presentation with our requirements."
The German auto major has affirmed that few plans are developing in pipeline and the company is working towards introducing four or five new models in Indian auto market by the end of 2013 calendar year. The upcoming Audi range of vehicles are anticipated to feature new models from its Q range along with one or two models in premium sports car segment.
At present, the Audi Q3 is available to domestic premium car enthusiasts within a price bracket starting from around Rs. 27 lacs that goes on till Rs. 33 lacs in the country. Hence, post local assembly the compact SUV is expected to carry a retail pricing between Rs. 22 lacs and Rs. 27 lacs. The aggressive pricing will definitely entail the Audi Q3 to pose some stiff competition to its direct counterpart BMW X1 on Indian turf.