Audi is built in motorsport and motorsport is where you can't win every time. The most important thing is that we have got a right structure to give us the best position to win
work is being done to make that better. Cost benefits will come through scale. When you expand, the cost component doesn’t stay an issue and I am sure in India, we will adopt it as the rest of the world.
'In the mean time, we obviously have a lot of petrol engines. The problem is in such a short-term impact, we can't cater quickly to the market requirements but we have moved to petrol engines as much as we can. We will obviously have a range of petrol engines. I think better planning with all the manufacturers will together help push that through.
'Another direction we are looking at are crossovers and estates. The Avant concept is a bit like the A3 Cabriolet and a lot of people thought that it is good work. The Cabriolet has worked phenomenally well. The RS6 has made the Avant cool. We also showcased the A6 All Road quattro at the Auto Expo. I think that has a huge potential for India – a quattro with a crossover concept. The Indian customer is also far more global, they travel a lot, they see the practicality, understand the car – practicality and luxury is a very powerful combination. It would still take time, but there is definitely a movement and the RS6 has really helped.
'Our performance car sales are growing too. We have got a very good range of cars. The S5 has really taken off; we are now showing the S3 Cabriolet. Maybe stepping that up a little bit — the SQ5 is a phenomenal car. The RS6 and RS7 have done phenomenally in the past, the R8 has done well and the new one will do well too.
'The thing with performance cars today is the drivability and everyday usability. They are not the bone-jarring sports cars they used to be. You can cruise around town and then drive them like a demon on the track. Another point we want to make on sports cars is that everybody who buys a sports car will get driver training. The R8 is the most powerful and quickest Audi ever built – phenomenal performance figures, in-built with enormous amount of style and safety. You need to get people to appreciate the car and get an insight of what to do should they get into any sort of trouble with the car.
'Audi is built in motorsport and is super successful in it. Motorsport is where you can't win every time; the most important thing is that we have got a right structure to give us the best position to win. We have done a lot of work on that and that will get us to the number one spot (in India). We have a strong foundation and that will help us take it to the next level.
'Having said that, 32-33 per cent of market share is one of the best in the world, so we are thrilled to be where we are, and it is a really strong place. We started in India in 2007 and where we are is 40 per cent ahead of where we planned to be and there are absolutely no complaints.
'The fact that our competitors are ahead of us for a year or two is not the most important thing in the market. We believe in really being connected with the customers, we want that foundation; we want those 52,000 customers to stay with us for life and continue to grow. The average Audi owner’s age is 32 and so it is a really strong position for us and I am very happy.'