Audi, the German luxury car manufacturer, unveiled what it calls the “next big Audi” – the A3 sedan – at the Auto Expo 2014. Describing the model as the likely game-changer for the company in India, Joe King, head, Audi India, said that the A3 has the potential to be the largest selling luxury car in India. “We will launch the A3 in India in the third quarter of this year,” King said. Although he didn’t disclose the possible price of the A3, he said that the A3 will be priced slightly higher than the small luxury cars of the competitors – the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 series. “Ideally, the A3 would fit between the compact luxury hatchback and the entry luxury sedan segment. The A3 sedan will, in fact, open a new customer segment in the country and bring more fans into the Audi family,” he said.
In 2013, Audi achieved new sales records in more than 40 markets and India was one of them. “We sold 10,002 units in India last year and we believe this market has tremendous potential for further growth. We expect the Indian market to continue to grow and to contribute substantially to Audi’s global sales,” added Terence Johnsson, vice-president, Overseas Sales, Audi AG.
King added that the company has started 2014 on a strong note and will continue to strengthen its market leadership, although he didn’t give any numbers for this year. “We have kept no specific sales targets this year but we are hopeful to grow our 32% market share in the Indian luxury car segment. Last year we grew faster than the luxury car market and will maintain the momentum,” said King. He also added that the company will continue with its network expansion strategy. “We plan to increase our network to 40 dealerships by the end of 2014.”
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Audi also showcased its most powerful addition to the India fleet – the Audi RS 7 Sportback. Another highlight at the Audi stand was the Audi R18 e-tron quattro to celebrate Audi’s success in motorsports. Because part of Audi’s success in India is due to its line up of SUVs, the company displayed special versions of its SUVs – the Audi Q3, Audi Q5 and Audi Q7 – at the Expo.
– Vikram Chaudhary