Interview with Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India

Audi is one of the three iconic luxury automobile brands present in the Indian market. It has been retailing a wide range of cars and SUVs, including the all-electric and high-performance models, in the country. Recently, we got the opportunity to speak with Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India, about the company’s product strategy for India in 2023. Dhillon also spoke about the Audi Club rewards program which was launched last year in June for the existing brand customers. He also shed light on the company’s performance in 2022 and the new products planned for 2023. Below are the edited excerpts of the interview:

Tell us about your 2022 sales and factors that drove the growth?

Audi India registered a 27% growth in 2022 compared to the previous year, and achieved a healthy sales figure of 4,187 retail units, despite hitting roadblocks posed by global impediments like the semiconductor chip shortage, supply-chain challenges, etc.

The uptick was propelled by the launch of 3 popular products– the Audi Q7, Audi A8L and Audi Q3. The Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi Q5, Audi Q8, Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron Sportback continued to be volume sellers for the brand in 2022. The RS and S performance cars also witnessed healthy demand and we expect to carry the momentum forward. It was a strong year for our e-tron range as well. We continue to exceed our own estimations and have experienced healthy sales of all five electric cars we offer in India.

How do you foresee the Indian luxury car market in the coming years?

The luxury car segment continues to witness good demand – this is inspite of the ongoing semiconductor chip shortages and supply chain issues. In 2023, we expect the luxury car segment will top the 2018-record volumes and surpass it by a significant margin.

Also Read: All-Electric Audi Q8 e-tron SUV Unveiled with 530 Km Range, India Launch in 2023

Tell us about your Audi Club rewards program. What has been the customer response and how many partners do you on-board? Will the loyalty program help in building customer confidence and engagement?

As an extension of the brands digitalization efforts and customer-centric approach, Audi India launched the Audi Club Rewards program in June 2022. Audi Club Rewards program is designed to enhance the luxury experience of Audi customers. This, one-of-a-kind loyalty program for Audi customers where customers earn and burn Audi Reward Points.

Audi customers can also earn referral and exchange benefits along with special and exclusive discounts and rewards. In addition, partner rewards – a whole bunch of categories for customers and their families ranging from golf, lifestyle, travel and luxury shopping experiences all in one place.

Audi Club Rewards offer exclusive access, segment-first privileges and bespoke experiences and we currently have more than 150 partners on-board. We have been making steady inroads into the services space over the last few years with engaging lifestyle initiatives like the Audi Concierge (for anything luxury beyond the car – call Audi Concierge) and several engagement campaigns on the ‘myAudi Connect’ application. The Audi Club Rewards program has been well-received by our customers and has gained significant traction from various locations across the country.

Mr. Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India with the new Audi Q7 (Photo: Audi)

It has been more than a year since Audi launched its EVs, how has the response been and which new models are expected in India?

While it is difficult to share specific sales numbers or percentages for products, we can proudly say that all our five electric vehicles, the Audi e-tron 50, Audi e-tron 55, Audi e-tron Sportback 55, Audi e-tron GT and Audi RS e-tron GT have received an overwhelming response. We currently have a strong order bank for the e-tron range; this tells you that there is strong demand for luxury electric cars and customers who know the merits of going electric are not hesitating to make the shift.

We will be launching the Audi Q8 e-tron in the third quarter of 2023 in India.

There is a lot of action happening in the used luxury cars space, how is the pre-owned Audi car business going, and what are the plans for expansion in 2023?

Audi India entered the pre-owned car business in 2012. In the last few years – the market has grown significantly and is headed toward further expansion. Audi Approved: plus Audi India’s pre-owned car business has consistently grown and continues to be an important part of our overall business strategy. We have registered a steady demand for and Audi Approved: plus has grown by 62% in 2022.

The demand for used cars has grown in the last 2-3 years and this includes Tier-2 and 3 cities. To address this increase in demand, we have expanded our Audi Approved: plus (pre-owned) car business from 7 facilities in 2021 to 22 facilities currently. We will continue to expand our presence in 2023 as well.

What is your expectation from 2023?

We are forecasting double digit growth in 2023 on back of a strong product portfolio and new launches including the Audi Q3 and Audi Q3 Sportback.

Read all the Latest Auto News here

Source link

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *