Audi to restart SUVs’ local assembly

NEW DELHI: The ‘Q’ is set to return to India as German luxury carmaker Audi restarts local assembly of its SUV range after a gap of nearly two years. It looks to drive in models such as the Q5 and Q7 very soon.
Audi had discontinued making the Q series of SUVs in India around the beginning of January last year as the country was preparing to transition to BS6 emission norms from April 2020, and the company discontinued sale of diesel engine models.
“However, it’s time we start making the Qs in India again. Production starts next month as we also start work to get the popular Q5, Q7, Q3 and other SUVs back to India,” Audi India head Balbir Dhillon told TOI, adding that all the cars would sport petrol engines for now as there is no confirmed decision on re-launching diesels.

Q stands for Quattro, which is Audi’s all-wheel drive system. The company had originally started its India debut around 2007 riding on the success and popularity of Q series of SUVs, though tough competition by compatriots Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the past few years has seen Audi lose steam in the market.
From the highs of selling 10,000 units at its peak, Audi’s India sales have now shrunk to a few thousand units, though Dhillon said that was according to a fresh business plan, which saw the company discontinue diesels and focus on sustainable technologies, including electrics.
“Electrics are going to be a major focus for Audi in India,” Dhillon said. Audi’s etron range of green cars costs upwards of Rs 1 crore.

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