Buoyed by the number one position it achieved in the Indian luxury vehicle market last year, German auto major Audi is strengthening its product portfolio and plans to launch the A3 sedan in the middle of this year to enhance its leadership.
“We will launch the Audi A3 sedan in India in the middle of this year. Being the most popular brand in India and winning in this market is an absolute priority for us. And so, I think getting it right in the compact luxury segment is important, and the A3 sedan brings just what is needed. The A3 sedan has the potential to dominate the segment,” Audi India Head Joe King said.
The company luxury segment has been a fast growing segment with the entry of the likes of Mercedes A and B Class, and BMW 1 Series. Audi’s A3 sedan will compete in this segment.
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Audi AG Head of Sales (Overseas) Terence Johnson said, the company achieved new sales records in more than 40 markets in 2013 and India was one of them with sales of 10,002 units.
Audi finished ahead of Mercedes (9,003 units) and BMW (7,327 units) in the Indian market last year.
“We believe this market has tremendous potential for further growth of brand Audi. Reaffirming our commitment to the Indian market, we are bringing the Audi A3 Sedan – the next big Audi to India. We expect the Indian market to continue to grow and to contribute substantially to Audi’s global sales,” Johnson said.
Bullish on the A3 sedan doing well in the compact segment, King said: “Audi A3 Sedan is a likely game-changer for the company in India and has the potential to be the largest selling luxury car in India.”
“We believe that the Indian market is unique and buyers here are more value driven and tend to choose cars that deliver better value. Ideally, the Audi A3 sedan would fit between the compact luxury hatchback and the entry luxury sedan segment,” he added.
The company has already started 2014 on a strong note and would continue to strengthen its market leadership, for which it will also give emphasis on expanding the sales network, King said.
“Our presence in India is growing stronger by the day…We will continue with our network expansion strategy and plan to increase our network to 40 dealerships by end of 2014,” he said.
The company has 31 dealerships at present. Interestingly, for Audi India is the first market in Asia after China to claim the number one spot, and more than 90 per cent of the cars sold in India were built locally at its Aurangabad plant.
Audi’s model range in India includes sedans A4, A6, Audi A7 Sportback, A8, along with sports utility vehicles Q3, Q5, Q7, and super sports car R8, R8 Spyder and the R8 V10, among others.