Audi to focus on EVs in India, aims half of its sales from electric by 2030

German auto giant Audi currently offers electric vehicles like e-tron, e-tron GT and Q8 e-tron among four models in India.
Audi Q8 e-tron
German auto giant Audi plans to scale up its EV presence in India aiming to sell at least one out of every two cars by 2030.
Audi Q8 e-tron
German auto giant Audi plans to scale up its EV presence in India aiming to sell at least one out of every two cars by 2030.

German luxury carmaker Audi expects 50 per cent of its sales in India to come from electric vehicles by 2030, according to a top company executive. The automaker, which sells four electric models in the country, plans to expand the product range to achieve its ambitious sales target.

"By 2030, we believe that close to 50 per cent of our sales here should come from EVs. That's the trajectory that we are moving towards," Audi India Head Balbir Singh Dhillon told PTI in an interaction.

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He noted that the company currently gets 3 per cent of its total sales from EVs.

"We are still not representing the whole of the segment, we are just selling cars above 1.2 crore. So there is a very limited segment that we are catering to right now. To reach 50 per cent from the current situation we will need more models," Dhillon said.

And that should happen in the next few years as the company is working with global headquarters to get more models for India, he added.

The new models would be much more affordable than the current EV range which is being sold in the country, Dhillon stated.

The company is also counting on the development of the charging infrastructure in India to help achieve the target, he added.

Globally,Audi has decided to become a fully electric vehicles manufacturer from 2033 onwards.

When asked about the taxation on EVs, Dhillon said: "To be honest and fair, the duties on electric cars are fantastic. It is just 5 per cent GST and many states do not have registration costs as well."

He noted that the cost of EVs currently remains on the higher side due to the company importing such models and not manufacturing locally. "The imported cars today that we are selling are all coming with 110 per cent import duty so the price of import itself is very high. Tomorrow if we are able to bring the cost which is below USD 40,000, the duty will be 70 per cent. If we assemble in India it will be further low," Dhillon said.

So that recipe is available and it is up to the company by when it would be able to get models at a lower cost or assemble in India, he noted.

"Currently, it's like a top down strategy, we are sitting at the top and we'll go to the next layer and probably the next layer as we move on but it is still not decided it is still a work in progress," Dhillon stated.

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He noted that globally, the Audi brand is gearing up to introduce more EV models by 2025 and some of them also make it to the Indian shores.

When asked about his views on the expected entry of US electric car major Tesla into the Indian market, Dhillon said: "I would say the more the merrier, because I believe that if more players come in it will only increase the adoption rate of EVs in the country."

Every manufacturer that comes into electric cars will also set up charging infra which will help hopefully everybody, he added.

Dhillon, however, noted that in terms of taxation and duty, there needs to be a level playing field for all manufacturers.

"We have already invested enough in the last many years to establish ourselves in India. So as long as it is a fair playing field with everybody getting the same benefits, I think it's fair," he said.

On the sales outlook for the current year, Dhillon said, "We do expect the luxury car industry to continue to grow. Last year, it grew by about 20 per cent. This year, it should grow in the range of 10-12 per cent".

Audi India will also be growing similar to the industry, he noted.

"We are not able to predict too much for the whole year because of the current situation (Red Sea crisis)," Dhillon said.

The January-March quarter is going to be challenging due to less supplies, he said.

"But we're hoping that we will recover and we will also grow. That's the anticipation that we will grow further but it is difficult to put the percentage as a lot would be depending upon the supplies," Dhillon stated.

Audi on Friday reported an 89 per cent growth in retail sales in India last year.

The company sold 7,931 units in 2023 as compared with 4,187 units in 2022.

The luxury car market in India remains small with the total sales accounting for less than 2 per cent of the overall passenger vehicle volumes which crossed the 40 lakh unit mark in 2023.

First Published Date: 05 Jan 2024, 16:59 PM IST
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