Our market growth is quite encouraging, says Audi India Director

The luxury car segment is zooming ahead notwithstanding economy slowdown blues plaguing the automobile market in the country.

In Visakhakhapatnam alone, the second largest city in Andhra Pradesh there are an estimated 200 luxury cars, half of it are various models of Audi and the rest being BMW, Benz, Range Rover and Jaguar cars. Owning an S-class sedan and other premium class cars has become a style statement for the neo rich.

Luxury car industry is expected to grow further after second half of the year with the manufacturers planning to target agriculturists from rural areas.

Encouraging

“Our market growth is quite encouraging. The luxury car market grew at six per cent last year and we expect that the trend will continue this year notwithstanding the fact that during first half, there will be slow movement due to elections and other factors, a normal phenomenon across the world,” Audi India Director Joe King told The Hindu on Monday.

Mr. King, who was here to inaugurate the 25 showroom of Audi India, the second in AP after Hyderabad, said they had become the first luxury car manufacturer to sell 10,000 cars last year, had achieved a growth rate of 11 per cent despite economy downturn.He said due to bright prospects of increasing their customer base, they had decided to open five more showrooms in tier-2 cities by the year-end. In Visakhapatnam alone, there is booking for five cars before opening of the showroom.

Among those who own Audis in the city include doctors, realtors, chartered accountants, seafood exporters and politicians. He said they had a customer base of 1400 in AP.

Mr. King said their presence in Visakhapatnam would help them to further consolidate their market share as the city had emerged as one of the key industrial hubs of India.

“We have identified around 35 prospective customers in and around Visakhapatnam which we expect to double in a year,” said Rajiv M Sanghvi, Managing Director of Olympus Motors Pvt. Ltd, the dealer for Audi in the city.