Mumbai: Luxury-vehicle maker Audi’s sales in India may have fallen in 2019, but the German brand’s performance in the used-car market in the past year has been the best ever with growth of 11%.

The Audi Approved Plus — its used-car division that also sells the vehicles of other luxury brands — is eyeing 50% growth in 2020, even as the head of the company, Balbir Singh Dhillon, expects the market for new luxury cars to stay flat.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event to launch the new Q8 in Mumbai, Dhillon said: “While the mainstream luxury-car market is facing a challenge, there is strong traction in the used-car segment. Our used car division, Audi Approved Plus, has registered growth of over 30% in 2019 (for Audi brand alone, it was 11%); we expect this strong growth momentum to sustain in 2020.”

The division sold about 2,000 cars in 2019 and Dhillon sees this growing to 3,000 units this year. This will come on the back of a near doubling in the number of dealers under the division, to 15 by the end of 2020.

Through the used-car division, Audi is securing a lot of first-time buyers and many of them are young, Dhillon said. The company hopes to convert them into prospective buyers for the new car division.

“Not only the Audi Approved Plus offers new leads for future customers, but it is also a profitable business for our dealers, so it is a win-win for us. It will be a key pillar for us to deliver sustainable business,” Dhillon said.

READ  Supertech seeks Rs 1,500 cr from stress fund to complete 12 housing projects

Audi India closed 2019 with sales of 4,594 new units, a decline of 28% from the previous year.

Dhillon expects the new-car business to stay at the same levels this year before volumes grow from 2021. And, this is despite the company’s plan to exit the diesel market.

This will be a “challenge”, but the company will drive petrolisation in the country and seek to grab the leadership position in that space, he said.

“Our new-generation petrol engines can deliver similar kind of performance as diesel and mileage can be improved through mild-hybrid, and we will work on delivering a better resale value for the customers,” added Dhillon.

According to him, the share of petrol in the luxury-vehicle market in India had already moved to 30% from 5% three years ago.

In the new-car market, Wednesday’s launch of the Q8, priced at Rs1.33 crore ex-showroom, would be followed by the introduction of the A8 next month.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here