November 27, 2021

The World Stock Markets Tips & Targets, News, Views & Updates

The World Stock Markets Tips & Targets, News, Views & Updates

Audi kicks off study to localise EV assembly

Having sold out its allocated number of electric vehicles, the Indian unit of German luxury car maker Audi is seeking the parent to allocate 3-4 times more EVs amid strong demand for greener vehicles in this market.

Enthused by the strong customer response, Audi has also initiated a study to evaluate the feasibility of assembling EVs in India and is seeking tax support from the government for a short period to help drive electrification in the country.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Q5 facelift launch on Tuesday, Audi India head Balbir Singh Dhillon told ET that the response towards EVs in India has far exceeded the expectations of the company, and it has compelled it to explore the possibilities of locally making EVs.

“The response for EVs has been unprecedented. Cars however still come with over 60-110% (import duty). We will be requesting the government if they could give us a window of 3-5 years of tax sops, which will allow us to create a decent scale and explore localisation,” said Dhillon.

Any move to support EVs in India by the government will also help the Indian operation to convince the headquarters to invest more in India, he said, adding: “If we have to make these products in India, it will call for investment.”

Audi has already sold out its first lot of EVs, and the second lot till January is also gone. It is now accepting booking for the rest of 2022.

Dhillon said Audi is moving towards complete electrification by 2033 and the India strategy will be aligned to the global plan.

“Going by the traction, we may see volumes of EVs more than tripling or quadrupling — albeit on a low base. But the direction of volumes and growth is very encouraging,” he said, but didn’t share any specific numbers.

Audi currently sells five EVs in India and on an average it has sold one EV every day since July, said people in the know. These vehicles are priced upwards of Rs 1 crore.

The German automaker is exploring the launch of more electric vehicles here.

“We are asking for more allocation in 2022 to satiate this growing demand,” Dhillon said.

On the mainstream business, the company expects the sales volume to more than double in 2021. In the first 10 months of the year, sales had increased 136%.

The company has lined up more Q-segment SUVs for launch in India next year and Dhillon expects its strong growth to continue at least for the next three years.

It is also exploring models to be produced in the country after relying on imports for a brief period.

“A large part of our portfolio should be ideally localised — 80% at least — and that is what we are intending to execute. We are evaluating more localisation including EVs. We need a certain threshold volume to localise, and it is only possible with support from the government,” he said.

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