German luxury carmaker Audi will launch electric SUV Q8 e-tron in India next month to strengthen its electric vehicle portfolio in the country, according to a senior company official.
The company will launch its Q8 e-tron on August 18, in two body types — Q8 e-tron SUV and Q8 e-tron Sportback — with a 114kW battery offering more range as compared to the existing e-tron that has a 95 kW battery. “We are basically strengthening our (electric vehicle) product portfolio and (bringing) what is available globally also for our customers in India,” Audi India Head Balbir Singh Dhillon told PTI.
Whatever makes a positive business case, he said, “We want to bring in India, and with the Q8 e-tron we want to strengthen our (EV) portfolio with what is the latest available across Audi’s offering.” Dhillon said the Q8 e-tron is being launched in India in the same cycle where globally it is being launched, underlining the significance of the Indian market. “So, we are very positively looking towards this model to strengthen our EV range in India,” he added. Audi India’s current EV portfolio comprises e-tron 50, e-tron 55, e-tron Sportback 55, e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT.
He said the Q8 e-tron will be imported as a fully built unit and would be one of the top-end variants in the portfolio. Audi had decided to focus on petrol and electric vehicles as part of a global strategy to become an all-electric car company by 2033. “We are focusing on the same. With the Q8 e-tron, we are starting our journey of the next generation (electric) cars. Subsequently in the coming years we’d also see more electric cars making way to India,” Dhillon said. He said in India, Audi’s electric vehicles in the luxury segment are gaining traction despite these cars being sold at an average price range of Rs 1.5 crore and only a very limited segment of customers are being addressed.
“The percentage of electric cars that we sell in terms of our total number is still very low but this is only growing and hopefully in the coming times it will go further. Eventually one day we will become an all-electric car company. So the focus still remains to make e-tron a stronger brand in India.” However, he said “acceptability of electric cars, including e-tron is quite positive not just in the metro cities, but in category B and category C towns, electric cars are finding their flavor, and there is a lot of positivity that we have from customers across the board and that is helping us grow our volumes”.
Audi had posted a 97 per cent jump in retail sales in India at 3,474 units in the first half of 2023, as compared to the same period last year. In 2022, Audi India posted sales of 4,187 units, as compared to 3,293 units in 2021, a growth of 27.14 per cent.