Buoyed by high sales growth in the first half of the year, luxury carmaker Audi has drawn up big plans for India.
The company sold 1,400 cars in the first six months of 2010 — a sales growth of 71 per cent. It is now looking to invest a total of 30 million euros (Rs 180 crore) over the next five years and plans to launch its flagship A8 model by the end of this year, said Michael Perschke, the new man at the helm of Audi India.
Perschke, who took over as the head of Audi India's operations on July 1, had earlier worked in India with rival Mercedes Benz between 1997 and 2000. The new chief said he sees strong growth for the Audi brand in the Indian market, especially the SUV segment.
"We plan to invest Euro 30 million (Rs 180 crore) till 2015 for expansion of our production capacity and plan to take our production capacity to 6,000 cars by then," said Perschke while speaking to the media on Wednesday.
The company that assembles its A4 and A6 models in India has also started assembling its sports utility vehicle (SUV) model Q5 here and plans to launch the A8 (priced between Rs 71 lakh and Rs 81 lakh ex-Mumbai) by the end of the year.
"We will increase our dealer network to 19 by the end of 2011 and will open dealerships in Kolkata, Jaipur, Lucknow and Ludhiana, among other cities."
The company has increased its sales forecast for the year 2010 from 2,300 units to 2,700 units and is eyeing to move up in the rankings from third at present.
"The overall market growth has been good and is growing. Our SUVs have witnessed very good demand in India and while we plan to increase our worldwide sales from 950,000 units to 1.7 million units over the next 10 years, we expect India to also witness strong growth," said Perschke.