German luxury car maker Audi on Wednesday entered a new segment, big sports utility vehicle-coupé, in its India portfolio with the launch of crossover SUV Q8 in the domestic market, priced at Rs 1.33 crore. The BSVI-compliant crossover SUV has been imported as a completely-built unit (CBU) from the company's Germany manufacturing facility.
"We are entering a new segment with the Audi Q8. The year 2020 is an important year for Audi India, as we launch our new BS-VI product portfolio. The Audi Q8 is part of our strategy to strengthen Audi's presence in the country under the goals of Strategy 2025," Audi India head Balbir Singh Dhillon said at the launch.
Audi, which commanded leadership position in the domestic luxury car segment but was unseated by rival Mercedes-Benz in 2016, has devised 'Strategy 2025' to improve its growth prospects amid falling volume. It focuses on areas such as customers, products, network, and digitalisation.
While both Mercedes-Benz, the market leader, and rival BMW have announced their sales number for 2019, Audi has still not revealed the numbers.
Mercedes-Benz reported an overall India sales of 13,786 vehicles in the previous year, down 11 per cent compared with 15,538 units in 2018, while BMW group (BMW and Mini) sales decline 13.8 per cent to 9,641 units in 2019 as compared with 11,105 units the year-ago period.
Dhillon said that 'C' and 'D' segments are key focus areas for the company in defining 'Strategy 2025', adding the Audi Q8 will help gain a stronger hold in the 'D' segment market.
The Q8 will follow the new A8, which will be launched next month, he added.
He said all the cars launched in India this year onwards will either for the first time come to India, having completely new or the next generation or at least they will be improved products.
Audi India will have 100 per cent new product portfolio and bring cars that are available globally, Dhillon added.
Dhillon said Audi has plans to double the number of its pre-owned outlets to 14 this year from seven at present.