Balbir Singh Dhillon, ET Auto


Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India with the Audi e-tron 55 and Audi e-tron Sportback 55.


Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India with the Audi e-tron 55 and Audi e-tron Sportback 55.

Q. How has been the first quarter of 2023 for Audi India? which are your best sellermodel and What is His contribution to the total quantity?

We have seen a growth of 126% in Q1 2023 as compared to the same quarter last year. Currently, we have the strongest SUV portfolio and recent launches like Audi Q3 and Audi Q3 Sportback and existing strong models like Audi Q5, Audi Q7 and Audi Q8 have helped us reach 60% share in SUV sales. We are seeing continued demand for sports cars: Audi RS e-tron GT, Audi e-tron GT, Audi RS5 Sportback, Audi S5 Sportback and sedans, Audi A4, Audi A6, and Audi A8 L. Audi Approved:Plus, our pre-owned car business, grew 50% – highest ever sales in a quarter.

We are on a growth trajectory and are confident of continuing this growth in the months to come.

> What kind of progress do you see in the next nine months?

There continues to be strong demand for our entire product portfolio. We are growing month on month and want to see 2023 with high double digit growth. New technology-rich products, a new electric launch in Q3 this year (Q8 e-tron), higher disposable income with consumers and the upcoming festive season will help us grow this year. Despite ongoing semiconductor chip shortages and supply chain issues, we expect to see continued demand for luxury cars. In 2023, we expect the luxury car segment to surpass the record volumes of 2018 by a significant margin.

Why. Please share the break-up of the SUV And sedan overall for Audi India Past 3-5 years.

The sedan and SUV share has generally been 50-50 every year. In Q1 2023, SUVs accounted for 60% of our sales, supported by our strongest SUV portfolio.

> what’s the strategy does Audi India follow on the ship First time luxury car buyer?

Apart from introducing new products in the Indian market, Audi India is focused on expanding its retail business and setting up new showrooms across the country including Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

In addition, the continued rise in demand for pre-owned Luxury cars provide new avenues and opportunities for brands. We have expanded this business by increasing the number of Audi Approved:Plus facilities to 23 in the country.
As part of our human-centric approach and digitization initiatives, we launched the Audi Club Rewards program last year, providing customers with some of the most exclusive luxury experiences, featuring some of the best products from over 150 brand partners Includes access. The initiative is aimed at enhancing the customer experience and engagement with the brand and has been well received by both new and existing Audi customers.

Q. Can you share the volume break-up between urban and tier-II and tier-III cities? How Tier-II and III cities have evolved Pfew years?

The increasing demand from Tier-II and Tier-III cities has provided impetus to many luxury car manufacturers in India to explore this segment and provide best products and services. There is also a significant market for pre-owned luxury cars in these regions. In the recent past, we have seen strong demand for our cars from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and account for almost 40% of our sales from them.

Q. Do you identify any new set of customers who are now buying luxury cars in India? What customer trends have you seen PSpent a few years in the luxury space?

More young people, especially in the category of startup owners and young professionals, are keen to experience luxury at a young age. They have both the will and the means for this. From the Audi A4, which is our entry-level sedan, to the RS e-tron GT, which is our top-end electric car priced above Rs 2 crore, we have seen a rise in first-generation buyers over the past two years. There has been an increase in the number of customers who want to customize their cars with personalized advertising. The kind of customization that Audi India has seen includes customized alloy wheels, seats, seat belts, inlays, exterior colours, cool box and more.

For example, in the new Audi A8 L, people can get their car customized with 55 exterior colours, eight interior colors and seven wood inlays, enabling a range of personalization options. Electric vehicles – the RS e-tron GT and e-tron – have seen some young buyers in the age group of 35-40 years. While a major share is made up of men, there are also women e-tron customers.

Our share of women buyers has increased from 4% to 11% in the last 3 years (including ICE). We derive almost 40% of our sales from buyers under the age of 40 – this accounts for the Audi product portfolio in India

Q. Please share your expansion plans in terms of your reach and new product launches.

We will launch the Audi Q8 e-tron in the third quarter of this year. All other launches and timelines will be disclosed in due course. In terms of retail expansion, we are opening a new dealership in Raipur this week and will continue to expand our Audi Approved:Plus facilities this year.

Q: How has the electric vehicles been responded to in the luxury car market? What is the current contribution of EVs to your product portfolio? What are your goals for the next three years?

We can proudly say that all five of our electric vehicles, Audi e-tron 50, Audi e-tron 55, Audi e-tron Sportback 55, Audi e-tron GT and Audi RS e-tron GT have received an overwhelming response. We currently have a strong order bank for the e-tron range; This tells you that there is a strong demand for luxury electric cars and customers who know the advantages of going electric are not hesitating to make the transition.

Audi India has seen a strong demand for its e-tron brand and a significant EV momentum as consumer perception about the viability of electric vehicles improves. The response to our electric cars has been very encouraging, which gives us confidence that electric adoption in the country will be much faster than we anticipate. We are working towards getting more allocation for India.

The Indian EV market has seen steady traction in India and we can confidently say that the EV market will continue to grow in the months/years to come. We will launch the Audi Q8 e-tron in India in the third quarter of this year.

We also continue to expand our charging network across the country. We will soon have an exciting charging announcement for e-tron owners.

  • Published on April 26, 2023 at 08:03 am IST

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This news is auto-generated through an RSS feed. We don’t have any command over it. News source: Multiple Agencies: Autocar India, hindustantimes, economic times, autonews


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