Audi to assemble its sports utility vehicles in India


New Delhi : German luxury car manufacturer Audi AG Thursday said it would start assembling its sports utility vehicle (SUV) Q5 at its Aurangabad plant in Maharashtra from next March.

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“We will start local assembling of our SUV Q5 at the Aurangabad plant. This year we are expecting to sell 200 units, while it should go up to 500 units from next year,” Audi India managing director Benoit Tiers told reporters here.

The Indian subsidiary of Audi would start a new line of production for the SUV with an initial capacity of 500 units per year, Tiers said.

“India is the second country after Germany where the Q5 will be assembled,” he added.

Audi currently assembles its luxury sedans A4 and A6 at the Aurangabad plant.

The models are imported to India in a completely knocked down version to avoid the 116 percent duty slapped on completely built units. Knocked down units attract only 60 percent duty.

Audi plans to invest about 30 million euros in the country till 2015, and the new production line would be part of this investment, Tiers said.

The company last year sold 1,050 units and has set a target to cross 1,500 units this year.

“We have already sold 1,128 units this year. If everything goes well, I hope and we have a good chance to sell 1,700-1,800 cars in 2009, which will be an increase of about 70 percent,” Tiers said.