Audi, the German luxury carmaker is all set to unveil the Audi Urbansphere concept globally. This is the third concept in the sphere family by Audi following the Audi skysphere concept and the Audi grandsphere concept. These concepts are being introduced to highlight Audi’s vision of premium mobility of the future. Not just globally, but in India also, Audi is on the top of the luxury electric vehicle segment with the most number of luxury electric cars, including the Audi eTron and eTron GT. Apart from electric vehicles, Audi will soon launch the new A8 and the recently launched new Q7 has become a runaway hit among B-town celebrities. We got in touch with Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India to understand all these developments in India and elsewhere.
How did 2021 go for Audi?
Audi India witnessed a 101% growth in sales in 2021 with 3,293 units sold overall. The year saw 9 new product launches including 5 electric cars. As a brand, we continued our aggressive focus on Strategy 2025 that focuses on four pillars — Human Centricity, Digitalization, Network and Products.
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What vehicles are doing great in India?
We continue to see strong demand for the Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi Q5 and Audi Q7 in addition to our RS performance models. Moreover, our e-tron range of cars has witnessed an overwhelming response.
What’s in the pipeline for 2022?
The year 2022 will see the launch of volume and niche models. On the network front, we also want to expand the network of Audi Approved: plus (our pre-owned car) facilities across India. We doubled our presence from seven pre-owned car facilities to fourteen in 202 1 and our target is to have twenty Audi Approved Plus showrooms in 2022. Our focus on Strategy 2025 will continue and expect double digit growth this year.
Tell us about Audi India’s EV push?
Audi as a brand is moving towards complete electrification by 2033 and the India strategy is being aligned in this direction. In 202 1, we launched five electric cars — the Audi e-tron 50, Audi e-tron 55, Audi e-tron Sportback 55 and India’s first EV supercars – the Audi e-tron GT and Audi RS e-tron GT. We have created an entire ecosystem that includes sales, after-sales, buy-back, charging and overall ownership.
We are currently the only brand with the widest EV range in India. Going by the current traction in the EV segment, we may see volumes of EVs more than tripling albeit on a low base. In addition to the 100+ chargers we have installed so far, at our dealerships, workshops and other locations; we have begun installing 50kW high speed chargers at our dealer locations. We will continue to focus heavily on this subject to grow the market.
Tell us about Audi Approved: plus
Audi Approved: plus is Audi India’s pre-owned car business and is growing consistently over the last few years and continues to be an important part of our overall business strategy. We are currently expanding our Audi Approved: plus facilities/ network with a series of inaugurations. We started 2021 with seven Audi Approved: plus facilities and will end this year with 20 facilities.
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Trends that are shaping the future of the auto industry?
The automotive industry will continue its growth trajectory post-pandemic. Automakers have found ways to reinvent themselves by adopting digital transformation in line with the consumer shift towards safety, convenience, and environment-friendly personal mobility. The demand for EVs will continue to grow in India and there is significant EV momentum as consumer perceptions about the viability of electric vehicles, improve.
A convergence of government-driven incentives, initiatives by several brands in India and the overall regulations are helping aid this growth. Lastly, the used car traction market in India has gained immense in the last few years and this will continue to grow.