Volkswagen may assemble Audi Q5 in India

Audi, the luxury car maker from the Volkswagen group, is considering the local assembly of the Q 5, an SUV. Although company officials declined to specify the model, auto industry experts said it would be the Q5, making this the third car that the luxury car maker will assemble in the country.

Audi has a plant at Shendra, near Aurangabad, in Maharashtra, which it shares with group company SkodaAuto.

“We already assemble the A4 and the A6 and we are thinking of assembling an SUV. There will be no change in the price since every product is launched already priced at the CKD (local assembly) price. We do not differentiate between CBU and CKD prices,” said Martin Birkner, head of marketing, Audi India.

Having sold 1,128 cars in the first eight months of this year, which is a 62% rise over the comparable period last year, Mr Birkner said they intend to bring in new models next year, having introduced three this year. This will add to the seven products from its stable of in the country.

“Next year, at the Delhi Auto Show, we will bring our concept car, what we call the show car,” Mr Birkner said. Industry expectations are that this will be the open top version of the Audi R8 super car, which is to be displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show that starts on September 15. Also to be shown at the Frankfurt show is the electric car from Audi and that too is likely to find a place at the Delhi show.

He added, “We sold 350 units of the Audi Q 7 SUV last year and are targeting 450 units this year, having already sold 300 units so far. In India, the market still wants SUVs.”

Audi launched an upgraded version of the popular Q7 SUV earlier this month, priced between Rs. 53.4 lakh and Rs 1 crore, on road. In Pune, the dealer sells around 14 Audis every month (the Q7 alone comprising 40% of these, taking on the north Indian market where such vehicles have traditionally done well.

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