Thursday, 8 September 2011

Audi to take call on third assembly line next year




German luxury carmaker Audi is eyeing a third assembly line at its Aurangabad plant as the company is expected to face a capacity crunch because of rapid sales growth in the country. A decision will be taken next year on the investment, its India Chief, Mr Michael Perschke, said on the sidelines of the SIAM Annual Summit.
The Volkswagen Group company will also launch the locally-assembled Q3 compact SUV and a BMW X1 competitor by June-July, 2012. It is also undertaking a market study for introducing the A3 hatchback — potentially its cheapest and highest volume-grosser if launched. BMW is also eyeing the 1-series for India, while Mercedes-Benz is considering the A and B-Class.
“We know that we will need fresh capacity around next year if this growth continues. We have land available for a third line — we are looking at a new investment decision by next year,” Mr Perschke said.
Audi is evaluating more models for India and is looking to significantly expand sales volumes in a luxury car market which grew around 80 per cent on sales of around 15,000 cars in 2010. The third line would hence help the company compete more aggressively with rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW, both of whose volumes are almost double its own. In fact, BMW expects sales of around 10,000 units this year. 

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