German luxury carmaker Audi is evaluating the feasibility of producing electric vehicles locally in India while it seeks to reach threshold volumes for such a step to be successful, according to a senior company official.
With the company deciding to go all-electric globally from 2033, it is a matter of time for local production of its electric cars, which has so far received a robust response in India.
"It's a continuous evaluation at this point in time...We are evaluating the acceptability of electric mobility in India," Audi India Head Balbir Singh Dhillon told PTI when asked about the company's plans with rival Mercedes-Benz announcing to locally assemble an all-electric EQS sedan in India from this year.
He further said, "But you have to also understand (that) we have, as Audi India or Audi AG, already decided that by 2033 we will become an all-electric car company. So, it's a matter of time. It's a question of when not if that whether we will do it."
In the last seven months, he said Audi India has launched five electric cars in India and will continue to sell these throughout these 12 months.
Audi's five electric cars in India are the e-tron 50, e-tron 55, e-tron Sportback 55, e-tron GT, RS e-tron GT. These have played a key role, along with its petrol-powered Q-range and with A-sedans in the company recording a two-fold jump in retail sales at 3,293 units in India in 2021 as compared to 1,639 units in 2020.
"So far, it has been extremely successful. This is one segment, which actually has performed even better than what we initially anticipated," Dhillon said.
However, as far as the local assembly is concerned, he said, "We are evaluating. We need to reach those threshold volumes before we can take a call that we start making these cars locally."
At the moment, he said Audi India's product portfolio in the EV segment is "strong enough to cater to the customer needs for next coming years and the network is strong enough to cater to what our requirements today are".
Audi's German counterpart Mercedes-Benz has announced that it would locally assemble its EQS electric sedan in India and would be launched in the market in the fourth quarter of 2022. It would add to the all-electric SUV EQC, which was launched as a fully imported unit in October 2020 priced at Rs 1.07 crore.