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Industrial Update | Audi firming up next phase of investments in India

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After successfully making inroads into the Indian hinterland, German automaker Audi is planning its next round of investments in the country. According to the company, the plan is being finalised. “Our 5-6 years investment plans finished by end of 2012 and we spent about 30 million euros,” said Michael Perschke (pictured), head, Audi India. 

“Our intention as to what we have in mind for the next 5-6 years in India will be communicated in the second half of this year,” he said. The German manufacturer of luxury cars currently assembles vehicles at its Aurangabad facility, which has a maximum capacity of 20-22,000 units a year. “We have two facilities in Aurangabad. We are happy with what we have. It is scalable at least up to 20-22,000 cars. This year we are building about 10,000 cars. So we can double which can take us at least till 2015,” he said. 

The company may look at Volkswagen’s Chakan plant, as part of its further expansion plans. “Chakan also has space. We benefit as part of the group (Volkswagen group) for multiple opportunities. We don’t have any model as of now which would fit into Chakan, but it might be different tomorrow. So definitely if we go for bigger investments we would also look for group synergies, which is currently under discussion right now,” said Perschke. “There are lot of considerations, but they are too premature to talk about it,” he said. The company assembles A4, A6, Q5, Q7 models at its Aurangabad plant and will start assembling Q3 in July-August this year. 

Audi India, which moved to the number one spot in the luxury car space this year, is targeting a growth of 20% this calender year despite the overall slowdown in car sales. The company is expecting to benefit from the local assembly of Q3, which will help in competitively pricing the product against the entry-level models offered by other luxury car manufacturers. 

“From 9,000 to 10,200, 20% is still a good target because I don’t know if BMW will grow at all, Mercedes will grow with A-Class. I think my core competitors will not grow beyond 5-10%. Last year we grew 56%, year to date we have 25% growth,” said Perschke.

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