German luxury carmaker Audi said the new year would be quite important for the company and that it would remain focused on the Indian market, even as it is expected to report a double-digit decline in sales figures for the current calendar year that is set to end. Audi estimates the sales to remain flat in 2020 and a visible positive growth only by 2021. “Under our ‘Strategy 2025’ goals, we will remain focused on customer-centricity and network sustainability.
We are optimistic about 2020 and will kick-start the year with the launch of Audi Q8 in January, followed by the Audi A8 in February and other new products that will set the tone for the year,” said Balbir Singh Dhillon, head of Audi India. “In terms of growth for the luxury car market, we estimate it to remain flat in 2020 and we are hopeful of positive growth starting in 2021.”
He admitted that 2019 has been a challenging year for the automotive industry. India’s automotive industry is going through a prolonged slowdown, with every segment registering a double-digit decline in sales numbers. According to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers — which does not include sales data of the top three luxury carmakers — sales of passenger vehicles declined by 17.98 per cent in April-November 2019 over the same period last year.
Audi’s nearest competitors — Mercedes Benz and BMW — are also facing slowdown blues, but their sales are expected to remain significantly higher than Audi’s for 2019. Mercedes India had announced sale of 9,915 units during the January-September 2019 period this year.
According to Dhillon, the key takeaways for Audi in 2019 is the strengthening of its presence in key markets of Gurugram (Delhi-NCR) and Hyderabad by opening two beautiful showrooms; opening workshop facilities in Thane, Vijayawada and Trivandrum; easing ownership by introducing ‘Lifetime Value Services’, and other similar initiatives. On the product front, Audi in 2019 launched the Audi A4 Quick-lift, Audi Q7 Black-edition and most recently, the ‘All new Audi A6’.