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

Evo India - - Ambition -

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.'

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