Audi closes in on BMW’s No. 1 spot
In 2010, Munich-based auto major BMW taught a lesson to arch rival Mercedes Benz in India when it took over as the largest selling luxury carmaker. A little over two years later, another German heavyweight, Audi, is dishing out the same medicine to BMW. HT reports.autos Updated: Jul 10, 2012 21:34 IST
In 2010, Munich-based auto major BMW taught a lesson to arch rival Mercedes Benz in India when it took over as the largest selling luxury carmaker. A little over two years later, another German heavyweight, Audi, is dishing out the same medicine to BMW.
Reigniting the race for the pole position, Inglostadt-based Audi has nudged closer to BMW with just 180 units separating the two companies in the first three months of this financial year. Last month infact, Audi with 759 cars edged ahead of BMW at 750 units for the first time largely on the back of its compact SUV Q3 that was launched in May. Mercedes was third at 622 units during the month.
According to figures released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Audi’s sales in the first three months of the fiscal have increased by 52.2% to 1,908 units from 1,254 units in the year-ago period. On the other hand, sales of market leader BMW declined by 12.2% to 2,088 units as against 2,377 units in the same period last year. Mercedes Benz too witnessed 24.4% fall in its sales at 1,257 units from 1,663 units in April-June in 2011. Audi has already stated that it was confident of overtaking BMW by 2014, a year ahead of its original plans. It, however, told HT on Tuesday that it does not foresee a number 1 position this year.
“We are pleasantly surprised by the numbers in June which was the first month when the Q3 hit the market but we do not foresee ourselves as the market leaders in 2012,” said Michael Perschke, head, Audi India. “Our intention is to grow on a healthy basis without chasing the numbers and end 2012 at a very healthy number 2. Number 1 is not our target this year.”
The June numbers may end up to be a mere flash in the pan as BMW readies a product offensive in the near future. The Bavarian firm is planning to launch 6 products over the next 4 months starting with the next generation version of its second largest selling car — 3 series —later this month.
“I do expect the new 3 series will change the dimensions of the game,” Andreas Schaaf, president, BMW India, had said earlier. “So far, the 5 series has been our largest selling car but the new 3 series would fetch us more sales once it hits the market.”