German luxury carmaker Audi has called the high taxation on cars imported to India a barrier to the growth of the electric segment while noting that even some relief in tariffs could help it sell more vehicles. and to convince its headquarters to reinvest in the country for the locals. manufacture of such models.
The company, which now sells five electric cars in the country, noted that lowering taxes would help lower the price of imported models, which would help it achieve a certain minimum volume in the market.
With a certain scale, the company can then try to convince its world headquarters to reinvest in the country to set up a local manufacture of models currently being imported.
In an interaction with PTI, Audi India director Balbir Singh Dhillon noted that the company has been able to sell the first set of electric vehicles imported into the country.
“The first series of e-trons introduced in the country are sold. It gives us the assurance that people are ready, India is ready for electric mobility. All of this helps us to introduce more and more such cars, ”he noted.
The company last week added two new all-electric four-door coupes, the e-tron GT and the RS e-tron GT – in India, bringing the total number of such cars in its portfolio to five models.
However, he stressed that import duties are proving to be a limiting factor.
“If the tariffs are lower, we can probably sell more into the country,” Dhillon said.
“Import duties are high, which is why we are asking the government if something can be done about it. Even if some relief is for a period of 3-5 years, it will help us achieve a certain minimum volume which would help us convince our headquarters to invest more in the country to start manufacturing the cars locally. “
Currently, cars imported as fully built units (CBUs) are subject to tariffs ranging from 60% to 100%, depending on the size and cost of the engine, the value of the insurance and of freight (CIF) less than or more than 40,000 USD.
Relying on the bright spots, Dhillon noted that the 5 percent GST rate cut and the help given by some state governments in terms of license fees were some of the factors that benefited the segment. electric cars.
“The biggest obstacle is import tariffs which, at over 100 percent, constitute a stumbling block,” he added.
Dhillon noted that a consistent good performance in terms of sales would help them convince the company’s global headquarters to invest in local manufacturing of such cars.
“They (HQ) have to believe that there is a demand so that they can think of other investments … there is a positive signal with the e-tron range … we have to run for a while. time before we can go to them to reinvest in India, ”he said.
Dhillon noted that the company is aiming for 15% of its total sales per year in the country to come from the electric vehicle portfolio by 2025.
Globally, Audi has decided to become an electric vehicle manufacturer from 2033.
Dhillon said Audi India is moving in the same direction and already only sells gasoline and electric cars in the country.
“We have now moved to a more electric gasoline vehicle strategy. We don’t offer diesel cars now and there are only electric and gasoline cars in our product line and that is the future. It is a step-by-step approach and will one day become a full-fledged manufacturer of electric vehicles, ”he added.
In order to help its electric vehicle customers in the country, Audi India plans to set up more than 100 charging stations in its dealerships and that of its group companies, Dhillon noted.
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