German luxury car maker Audi on Monday said it is looking to start assembling SUV Q3 in India at its Aurangabad plant.
The car maker at present assembles sedan A4, A6 and SUV Q5, Q7 in India. It plans to have an installed capacity of upto 12,000 cars a year in the country within
the next 18-24 months, a top company official said.
"We are planning to start assembling Q3 in India," Audi India Head Michael Perschke said.
The company has invested close to 30 million euros in India since its foray into the country in 2007.
The company has about 7,500-9,000 units capacity at the Aurangabad plant with the commissioning of Q7 SUV assembly line.
"We have built a new assembly hall called hall-C... Now with a single shift in the new hall, our installed capacity is reaching out between 7,500 to 9,000," he said, adding that if "we go on higher shift we can go upto 12,000 units, depending on market condition".
Audi began assembling Q5 SUV in India last year and Q7 this year. It is focused on the Q series expansion.
It has set up a dedicated production unit at the Aurangabad plant of Volkswagen group firm Skoda.
"Last year we sold 5,511 units in India, and this year we expect to cross 8,000-mark, a rise of nearly 55-60%," Perschke said.
Meanwhile, Audi on Monday inaugurated a luxury car showroom in Ahmedabad with 12 cars on display.
It also unveiled super sports car Audi R8 Spyder in the presence of Bollywood actor Neha Dhupia.
According to the company, western region contributes close to 32% of Indian luxury car market. Gujarat's share, in the western region, is close to 28%.
"In Gujarat last year 485 units were sold and this year we expect to touch 750 units, which averages out to two cars per day," said Samir Mistry, MD Audi Ahmedabad (Nixynova Motoren Pvt Ltd).
Having around 25 networking points in India, Audi proposes to open next outlet in Lucknow this year, followed by a showroom at Noida in January and another in South Mumbai.
"We plan to have 30-35 networking points in India by next year-end," Perschke said.
The luxury car maker registered total sales of 850 units in October 2012, a growth of 76%.
The brand has recorded a 55% growth this year so far, with 7,267 units sold between January to October 2012 against 4,692 in the comparable period a year ago.
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