The luxury car market will soon be spoilt for choice. After the Bentley Arnage and Maybach, another luxury model is revving up to drive out on to the Indian streets — the Audi TT Coupe. Almost five years after it aborted a planned foray into the Indian market, German luxury carmaker Audi AG is again preparing to drive into India with the two-door TT Coupe. In its latest venture, the Volkswagen group will look at back-end synergies with Skoda India.
A final decision on the company's strategy for India would be taken soon. “The idea of testing out the TT Coupe at the ongoing Expo is to investigate when the time is right to get into India,” says Sunil Kaul, Country Manager (India), Audi. “We have submitted a plan to the Audi board and a decision should be taken by February-end.”
If it gets a green signal from headquarters, Audi will start out by importing the TT Coupe and selling it through dealerships in “two or three metros.” While the company has displayed only its Rs. 35-lakh TT Coupe at the fair, it is also planning to launch the A4 and A6.
Audi plans to import the 1.8-litre turbo-engine TT Coupe as a completely built unit and market it through select dealers in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Depending on the market response to its debut vehicle, Audi would decide on setting up an assembly line in the country. “We are also open to sharing an assembly line with Skoda India,” says Kaul.
This will be Audi's third attempt to enter the Indian market. The company had first planned to set up a joint venture with the Eicher Group but abandoned the plan after a detailed market survey. Later, it announced plans to set up a venture with Skoda but the tough entry norms and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade's (DGFT) MoU policy deterred the firm from entering the country. Will they hit pay dirt third time?