German luxury car manufacturer Audi Wednesday began assembling its sports utility vehicle (SUV) Q5 at its Aurangabad (Maharashtra) manufacturing plant.

The Q5 is the third Audi model after the A4 and A6 to be produced in India. The company expects to produce 1,500 units every year.

“The production of the Q5 is part of our long-term growth strategy in India,” said Frank Dreves, Audi board member for production.

“The Indian market for automobiles will grow very rapidly, and the Q5 is the right automobile at the right time,” he added.

The company plans to ramp up total production to 6,000 units each year by 2015 from the present 2,400 units.

Audi also said it had recorded its highest half-yearly sales at 1,400 cars with a growth of 71 percent.

“Our half-yearly sales performance this year is in line with our expectations and has set a new mark for us in India,” said Michael Perschke, Audi India head.