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‘Indian Buyers Value sensitive not Price Sensitive’

Adi Singh

The German luxury car maker Audi recently inaugurated its second showroom in Andhra Pradesh in the city of Vizag. And to showcase the importance the city holds for Audi its India Head Mr Joe King was himself present in the city of destiny talking on the wide range of cars at its swanky Vizag showroom.
Audi India tipped its closest rival to become the leading luxury car brand in India by selling 10000 cars in a calendar year. The company has plans to expand its network to 40 dealerships by the end of 2014. In a chat with ViS Mr Joe King elaborates on the luxury car segment in India and how it perceives the Indian market going forward.

How Important is India to Audi worldwide?
India is a very focused market for Audi. Just a few weeks ago we had our board meeting in Germany and we were talking about the significance and commitment we have for this market. It has been a rewarding experience we got to 10000 cars last year which I must point out was 2 years ahead of schedule. India is only the second country in Asia to be no 1.

In terms of the BRIC nations where does India stand?
Well to be candid every single country in the BRICS s is fundamentally different and every market is individual. India has a long term future for us and we remain committed.

Does Audi have a manufacturing facility in India?
Yes we do. We have a manufacturing facility in Aurangabad and it produces 92 % of the cars sold here. However this capacity is going to increase going forward.

Tell us something about the Indian luxury car buyer. Do you think they are price sensitive?
I don’t agree to the notion that Indian consumers are price sensitive. I believe they are value sensitive. Also connection to the customer is paramount. I must mention that our second largest facebook community in the world is here in India. It has 3.2 million facebook fans. We focus on getting closer to customers.
How does AP figure in terms of Audi India sales
AP contributes about 4.5% in terms of India sales. Audi Hyderabad has been a key contributor to our success story in India. And now with the opening up of the Vizag showroom we look to that number growing to 5%.  We see a huge potential for growth in Vizag.

What models of Audi are your top sellers?
Well we are market leaders in the Q range i.e. The SUV segment and also in the sports car segment. Our key USP is ‘Quattro’ that sets us apart from many other things.
Having said that the Audi range in India includes the Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi A7 Sportback, Audi A8L, Audi Q3 S, Audi Q3, Audi Q5, Audi Q7, Audi S4, Audi S6, Audi RS 5 Coupe, Audi RS7 Sportback, Audi TT Coupe, the super sports car Audi R8, Audi R8 Spyder and the Audi R8 V10 plus.
(aditya@viscan.in)

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