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Audi to enter Indian car market from July

May 31, 2004 16:44 IST

Photo: Philippe Desmazes / AFP / Getty ImagesGerman luxury car maker Audi will launch its new Audi A6, Audi TT 1.8T, Audi A8 and the all-road Quattro in India from July.

Audi, which is Volkswagen AG's premium unit, has set up a dealership network in New Delhi and Mumbai and other cities, and its entry into India is being seen as its most significant move since it entered China.

Audi's target is to sell 1,000 vehicles over the next five years. In the short term, Audi aims for sales in the triple-digit range in the six months ending March 2005.

"We will take up a sporty position and watch carefully the way the market develops. There is still a lot more potential in this market, and we certainly intend to exploit it," said Joerg Hofmann, Managing Director, Asia Pacific Region of Audi AG, in a media release on Monday.

"The luxury car segment in India tripled in the last five years and is expected to grow by 25 per cent this year. With India as the fourth biggest market in Asia, we see it offering excellent opportunities for Audi. It is the right time for us to enter this promising market with a growing pool of discerning, increasingly affluent consumers, who we believe will appreciate Audi's sporty, progressive and sophisticated offerings," said Sunil Kaul, Country Manager, Audi Asia Pacific.

Audi is committed long term to doing business in India and is banking its projected growth in India on a three-prong strategy that has worked for them in other parts of the Asia Pacific.

First, Audi will build and grow awareness and brand image of Audi amongst its target audience of discerning individuals who have made it in terms of career and financial stability and appreciate quality, design and drivability.

Second, Audi aims to establish an efficient infrastructure with an experienced dealer network. Audi will implement its high standards of world class sales and after-sales service in its Indian operations. It will begin by appointing dealers offering the full range of sales, after-sales and parts services in Mumbai and Delhi. This will be followed by additional service centres to meet customer needs in other locations as the business develops.

And third, through an energetic product line, the first models to go on sale in the second half of this year will be the new Audi A6 3.0, the Audi TT Coupe 1.8T, as well as the Audi A8L 3.0 and the Audi allroad Quattro 2.5 TDI.

The newly designed Audi A6 is one of its most talked-about models, highlighting the design evolution for the Audi brand. This executive-class saloon, with its low-slung windows, coupé-like roofline, out-and-out drivability, high standards of luxurious comfort and exemplary interior equipment sets the standard in its segment. It will be available in India later this year with a 3-litre V6 engine with multitronic transmission.

The classic TT Coupe offers an unparalleled driving experience of performance and control. A visual treat that's a 100 per cent pure sports car, its precision-tuned suspension and strong frame deliver razor-sharp response to match one's desire for turbo-charged engine power.

With its introduction of its flagship A8, Audi added a new sporting dimension in the luxury segment. With its compelling handling, pioneering technology and exclusive design and equipment, this saloon redefines the notion of sports appeal in the luxury segment. The A8 embodies Audi's claim of 'Vorsprung durch Technik': sporting character and clear design, innovative technology and superlative quality.

The all-road Quattro is a concept that rises to the challenge of exploring the unknown. It combines the advantages of a luxury touring car with those of an off-roader. The adjustable air suspension with four ride heights, the high-performance Quattro driveline and tyre concept that's been tried and tested for off-road applications enable the car to be used on rough tracks and steep slopes. This is a vehicle for people who would like to hit the roads -- or the off-road -- in something out of the ordinary.

A Correspondent in Mumbai