Audi India to follow petrol-only strategy in the BSVI era
New Audi India head, Balbir Singh Dhillon, recently confirmed to news outlets at the recent Audi A6 launch that the brand will follow a petrol-first strategy once BSVI regulations come into effect by April 2020. He also confirmed that electrification, through EVs and hybrids, will play a key role in this strategy and the brand will follow a top-down approach in making this shift.
OVERDRIVE broke this news first in June 2019, when editor Bertrand D'sSouza caught up with ex-Audi head Rahil Ansari over a game of football. Below is an excerpt from the conversation that confirms Audi's future strategy in India.
BD: So what's the product line going to look like for Audi in the coming months or years? Not just the E-tron and EVs but regular IC engined cars, like petrols and diesels. Diesels are obviously under the scanner. But what is Audi's product plan?
RA: It's a valid point you've raised. It's important that we make that shift. We do believe in petrolisation, we do think this is the future. That shift has already been happening over the past years. Diesel had a 90 per cent share in 2015 and 70 per cent in 2018, in 2019 this should drop to around 65 percent in 2019. By 2020, this will fall to 30 percent diesel sales. This means we believe in petrol, we also believe in alternative fuels, like the E-tron and electrification. There's a lot that will go in that direction. We are also accepting a volume consolidation or drop at the moment, we think this is the right way to gain momentum later on.
BD: What are the specific products that we can expect?
RA: The Q8, R8 and A8 will come. I can confirm they will come as petrol first. We do believe in petrol, and we will see what the market sentiment is. We want to stick with petrol and build market acceptance to it, in a top-down manner. We see demand too, especially in certain belts apart from NCR. This region has been petrol dominated market for the past three years. Even in Gujarat and South India, you see the tendency towards petrol now.
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