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While launching the petrol variant of popular Q5 model, Audi India chief hinted at a much powerful electric vehicle (EV) to be brought from Audi's stable for Indian market in 2020.
While other car makers have spotted an opportunity with electric vehicles (EVs) and government push is also fuelling growth of the segment, Audi India has planned four EV launches by 2020.
"We see great opportunity in India with clear push from government. But at the same time, there is also some homework to be done. Audi will be able to launch first EV in India latest by 2020. And we are doing our work on this," said Rahil Ansari, Head of Audi India here during the launch of petrol variant of Q5 SUV.
Ansari, however, expressed confidence of thumping success in the EV segment. "In the EV segment, we are confident to do extremely well because our reach will be wider. Locally, there is a typical range of 90-120 kilometres (distance), while we are looking at a range of 500+ kilometres. This will be a big thing with high voltage battery. We will not be launching a small car," said Ansari.
Ansari also underlined the need to set up necessary charging infrastructure for longer driving routes. "There is push from the Centre on one hand, but on the other hand we would appreciate of there is a clear Central policy, because it gives you a proper framework," he said.
Meanwhile, for the luxury car sales growth, Ansari maintained that Gujarat will be a major growth driver for the company in 2018, as Gujarat sales are expected to grow by 20 per cent.
"We planned our national launch of Q5 petrol in Ahmedabad considering the significance of the Gujarat market. While nationally, we expect a flat growth this year, against 2 per cent growth last year, growth from Gujarat will be about 20 per cent," said Ansari.
Commenting on the dismal growth prospects, Ansari added that in past 12 months, "We had GST implementation in July 2017, which was good, as it brought uniform tax structure. But unfortunately, five weeks after that, cess hike discussion took place and was implemented in September 2017. Then in the Union Budget in February 2018, it was announced under the umbrella of Make in India. Even if we are making in India, the duty structure was changed and it resulted in price increase,"
The luxury car makers have been representing to the government raising their concerns about the increase in the customs duty on the imports of the parts of luxury cars.
"There is no progress on the discussion with the government so far. What is good that we are heard for the first time as the luxury car makers. Something, which is a positive trend. I think something will happen, even if there are elections approaching," said Ansari.
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