German luxury car maker Audi’s struggle continues in India with the company now reporting a fall in sales during the first six months of the calendar year 2018.
The maker of A6 and Q7 models clocked sales of 3,423 units during January to June period, a drop of 11 percent as against 3,831 units sold in the same period last year. Audi is India’s third largest luxury car maker and has assembly operations in Maharashtra.
Audi’s fall in sales have come as a surprise as its rivals such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo have reported double-digit rise in sales during the same period.
While Mercedes-Benz led the market, selling 8,061 units, BMW was second with sales of 5,171 cars in the January-June period.
In terms of growth rate, while Mercedes-Benz and BMW reported increase of 12 percent and 13 percent, respectively, in sales during the Jan-June period in India, Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo posted 66 percent and 33 percent rise in sales, respectively, during the same months.
Audi hit a rough patch in 2016 in India, as its sales slumped 31 percent compared to 2015. The following year Audi’s sales grew by less than 2 percent even as the industry grew by 18 percent during the same year.
Audi has been facing strong headwinds not just in India but overseas as well. While worldwide sales of the company grew by 4.5 percent in the Jan-June period, it sold fewer cars in major markets such as Germany, UK and France.
Audi has a limited model line-up in India compared to its peers perhaps being the main reason behind its under-performance. The company has just nine models in its portfolio at present. Mercedes-Benz, the market leader in the luxury car segment, has 19 models while BMW has 15 models.
Despite a higher cess (25 percent) on luxury cars slapped after implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the middle of last year coupled with a five percentage points increase in customs duty on completely knocked down kits to 15 percent there has been a growth overall in the luxury car segment.