Audi boosts capacity by 50% to 9,000 units

Audi boosts capacity by 50% to 9,000 units Mumbai: German Luxury car major Audi, which on Thursday rolled out a new version of its A4 car, said it will scale up capacity at its Aurangabad facility by 50 percent to 9,000 units shortly.

"We are building a new assembly hall, which is called hall C, which would contribute to production of another 3,000 cars," Audi India head Michael Perschke said.

The Aurangabad facility was initially designed with one assembly line to produce three models --A4, A6 and Q5--with a capacity of 3,000 cars per shift, he said, adding that this has now been doubled to 6,000 cars with two shifts.

To a question whether Audi India also had plans to increase investment, Perschke said once the initial investment of 30 million euro was exhausted, the company may revisit the investment plans.

"When we started our business five years ago, the investment was calculated at around 30 million euros. Of this, 20 million euro we have consumed till last year," Perschke said, adding "probably the investment we are doing now, we would have consumed the 30-million investment by this year. I am also hopeful that my board will approve a new investment as and when needed."

Earlier in the day, the Volkswagen Group company launched a new version of its largest selling sedan A4 in both petrol and diesel variants at a starting price of Rs 27.33 lakh. The company expects the A4 to drive a considerable portion of its projected 8,000 units sales this year.

"Our annual sales volume for this year is 8,000 units. We are looking at a minimum of 2,500 A4s to be sold this year, both the old and the new versions," Perschke told reporters.

He said India is the fastest growing market worldwide for the company and the A4 model currently accounts for 43 percent of its total sales.

In the January-April 2012 period, Audi sold 2,831 units against 1,986 in the corresponding period last year. Audi's models here include A4, A6, A7 Sportback, A8L, Q5, Q7, RS5 Coupe, A-TT, the super sports car R8 and the R8 Spyder.

Besides, the company plans to launch at least five-six new models including the S6 model, Perschke said.

"We plan to roll out five to six models, including the S6, which is expected to hit the market around the festive season," he said.

To achieve the target volumes, the company has also plans to expand the dealership network to 25 this year from 18 now, he said.

About growth for the luxury car market, Perschke said it is likely to be a bit choppy adding at best the segment is expected to clock 20 percent growth.

PTI