German luxury carmaker Audi, which sold over 9,000 cars in India in 2012, a 63% jump over the previous year, said the nation will be among its top ten markets by the end of this decade.
"India is an important strategic market for Audi," said Luca de Meo, board member, Audi. "It is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide and over the last two years we have tripled our annual sales volume in the country. It will become one of our top ten markets by the end of this decade."
Asked about the increase in import duty for fully built units (FBUs) announced in the recent budget, he said the company would like to operate in an open market where policies are stable.
"Stability of regulation is important to us," said Meo.
Audi shipped 14.55 million automobiles worldwide in 2012, a growth of 11.7% - or approximately 152,500 additional customers.
Audi's sales increased its revenues to €48.8 billion (R 3.4 lakh crore). Volkswagen's premium brand increased its operating profit to €5.4 billion, a record result in the company's history so far.
It's profit before tax, however, fell slightly to €5,956 million from €6041 million last year and after-tax profit fell to €4,353 million from €4,440 million last year due to higher costs.
"We intend to continue our growth in 2013 and with two new plants this year," said Rupert Stadler, chief executive, AUDI.
(The writer's travel and stay was sponsored by Audi)