Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11th March 2019, 16:29   #1
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 54,500
Thanked: 137,033 Times
Default Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

At one time, Audi was confident, aggressive & a sales champion. It was also the no.1 luxury car brand in some years - example news item.

Quote:
The company sold a total of 10,851 cars in the calendar year 2014 against 10,002 units in 2013, recording a growth of over 8%. This is the seventh successive year of growth for the company. Last year, Audi became the first luxury car manufacturer to clock sales of more than 10,000 units in a calendar year as well as a financial year.

Mercedes-Benz India ranks second in the luxury car segment, closely following Audi with 10,201 units sold in the year
However, Audi today is a shadow of its former self. Here are the historical numbers, courtesy Auto Punditz:
Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?-8.jpg

The company was on fire from 2012 through 2015, after which sales have fallen off a cliff . 2018 was a particularly brutal year for the brand with merely 6463 cars sold. If things continue this way, I will be hardly surprised in seeing Jaguar-Land Rover (once a niche player) overtake Audi!

Whatever happened to the four-rings? I don't follow the 30+ lakh scene as closely as I do the sub-30 lakh segments, so am really looking for answers.

• Was no one interested in the Vento-sized A3?
• Did customers find the new A4 to be too similar to the old A4 (I sure did)?
• Is the Q3 too old (answer = yes)?
• Have Mercedes & BMW started matching Audi on discounts (Audi was & is the king of discounting in India)?
• Did the North India dealer fraud hit the brand that hard (link)?
• Are VW & Audi HQs too busy with the emissions scandal to bother with their Indian operations (VW hasn't even bothered to bring the new Polo here)?
• Have JLR & Volvo affected Audi more than the others?
• Or is it just a product-specific problem? I mean, I look at half of Audi India's range and I just see L-A-M-E?
• Audi was always strong in SUVs. One would think that, in a market that has moved to SUVs big time, Audi would've grown stronger. That's clearly not the case. A recent ET Prime article said that Audi's sedan : SUV mix has actually changed from 70:30 to 50:50.

Importantly, there is no doubt that Mercedes (especially) & BMW have strengthened their range for India. In most segments, Mercedes has the drool-worthy cars...from the C-Class to the S-Class.

Related Thread (Mercedes, BMW & Audi sales figures in India)

Last edited by GTO : 12th March 2019 at 09:17. Reason: Bullet points
GTO is offline   (53) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 16:44   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Sahil's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 5,592
Thanked: 3,515 Times
Default

Audi’s decline is not surprising, the line up currently ain’t just good enough to drive volumes. Moreover, the dealership troubles in the north have hit numbers badly which is unfortunate. Regardless even if dealership issues didn’t exist they would yet land up in double digit decline.
The new Audi head Rahil seems more a marketing chap than a hardcore sales guy. The fact that they are calling 2019 a year of the 8s is not convincing to sales numbers. The 8s ain’t going to bring in much numbers. They need to fix their workhorses- the Q3,A4 and A6. The first and last need to be replaced ASAP, they are far too aged. The A4 needs better kit and pricing, something disruptive. Perhaps shelve the A3 that doesn’t sell much anymore and mark down the A4 to take on the CLA and C class.

The Germans have taken the mid size luxury sedan prices a bit too high by introducing lower models, this strategy works for few years but in the long term it’s shown negative effects now.
Price correction is required now more than ever. I hope the Germans wake up!

Last edited by GTO : 12th March 2019 at 09:28. Reason: Moving your post to my new thread :)
Sahil is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 16:44   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
lamborghini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 5,098
Thanked: 2,198 Times
Default

The Q8 & A8 aside, many of their new launches aren't doing well:

Q7: Once the king of the segment, has lost out due to it's tame station wagon looks
A4: It has the potential to do well. Great price post discounts bring it in line with a segment lower! Looks sweet as well! However, Audi brand value has taken a beating + the C Class appeals to a luxury buyer much better. However, I believe this is one of Audi's best selling vehicles at the moment. The 1.4TSi engine is nothing to write home about either ways.
Q5: The old Q5 was quite a flop, and the new model that looks evolutionary isn't garnering much attention compared to the new and well marketed X3 and feature laden smart looking XC60.
A3: The segment is pretty slow. Look at the CLA's dismal sales. With heavy discounts on the 3/C/A4 segment + tough competition from the Superb - there are very few buyers for this segment in the market.

One model that can potentially change Audi's fortunes is the new A6. However, it will have to be priced right. That being said, at best it can hope to be in second place to the fabulous LWB E Class solely due to proper pricing.
It will be fun to see how the all rounder A6 fares compared to the driver delight 5 series which is down on space compared to the A6.

Last edited by GTO : 12th March 2019 at 09:29. Reason: Moving your post to my new thread :)
lamborghini is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 17:01   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
sarathlal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 1,057
Thanked: 2,322 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Do the looks have something to do with market sentiments? I was never a fan of each and every model looking exactly the same. And to make things worse, the upgrades were never drastic.
Too many other options, sub-30 segment cars looking more stylish, and the plush rides not going well with the rougher road conditions might have contributed to the decline. In short, there were fewer and fewer compelling reasons to look for an Audi.

Last edited by GTO : 12th March 2019 at 09:43. Reason: typo
sarathlal is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 17:01   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
karan561's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,349
Thanked: 13,344 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

The few reasons i could think of;

1) Front Wheel Drive Cars with Underpowered / Downsized engines;

Enthusiasts would not even consider buying any cars from the current entry level line up of sedans i.e. A3, A4 or A6 sedans.

2) Similarity with Skoda / VW cars;

Skoda Octavia & Superb, VW Jetta & Passat are so good that people owning these may not consider (if wanting a Sedan) anything less than an A8 while wanting to upgrade to an Audi brand (Hence they buy Merc or BMW)
Honestly the Skoda Kodiaq (similarly priced as the Audi Q3) looks strikingly similar to the current new gen Q7.

3) Lack of Innovation;

After the hype of DRL's & Lighting technology, Audi is yet to deliver something strikingly innovative (Like BMW did with a new Key Fob in the 5 series which can start & move the car) or how Merc won hearts with its new interior design.

Last edited by karan561 : 11th March 2019 at 17:21.
karan561 is online now   (28) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 17:02   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
PrideRed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: BLR/PTR
Posts: 1,683
Thanked: 3,017 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

The reason is outdated Q3 and lack luster A4. Most of the sales of these 3 manufacturers are driven by 3/C/A4 and X1/GLA/Q3. 2012 was when Q3 was launched and looked like a much better proposition than low slung X1 and bumped up A class(a.k.a GLA). Similarly the A4 was competitive and looked nice- particularly in white shade. The current Q3 on sale is from another century and the A4 though modern, looks like new wine in an Old bottle. Oh and not to forget how the page 3 favorite Q7 has been replaced by some lame station wagon.
PrideRed is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 17:10   #7
BHPian
 
mroutlander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 80
Thanked: 87 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Audi's descent is definitely noticeable but I guess I won't call it befuddling. I remember that a few years ago, it was the numero uno luxury car brand in India (by volumes, at least). But then it lost the plot and how. They had a slew of releases alright but the designs never took a leap. Newer models kept looking like iterative versions of the previous ones.

And it's in here that Daimler-Chrysler and BMW swooped in with fascinating and fresh designs (they do have some ugly ducklings as well, but guess that's for another discussion). Even Volvo, somewhat notorious for bland-looking cars, started releasing scorchers, one after another.

So, if one were to pinpoint what's wrong with Audi - I'd say design, first and foremost. It's not that they are bad/unpleasant but have stayed similar for far too long. Other factors have already been highlighted by fellow BHPians earlier.

Last edited by mroutlander : 11th March 2019 at 17:13. Reason: Minor typos
mroutlander is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 17:12   #8
Team-BHP Support
 
SmartCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,328
Thanked: 21,477 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Do Audi cars have reliability issues? What about spare parts and overall service cost, when compared to BMW and Mercedes?
SmartCat is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 17:13   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
Durango Dude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,190
Thanked: 1,627 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

May be the cars have started to look a little to generic and bland. Just see an Audi in white or black the common colors around and you've seen it all. It may have a lot of tech under the skin but on the outside it looks bland and it's "cousins" are there in the market with cheaper and better options. May be the engine cubic capacity downgrading may also have delivered a blow. I used to drool over the V8 diesel Q7.
Durango Dude is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 17:24   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: -
Posts: 4,743
Thanked: 4,517 Times
Infractions: 0/2 (9)
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Main reason is lack of new product launches or slow paced products. Merc and BMW are launching their new products within weeks of their international unveil.
We are yet to see the launch of A8, new A7, new A6 and its been more than an year since their international unveil. Q2 can give another shot in the arm, Q7 has failed mainly due to the dull styling and Q8 is a step in the right direction.
We need fast tracked new products, not free coffee machines.
sidindica is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 17:29   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
BANDHAV's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ghaziabad
Posts: 1,089
Thanked: 838 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Add dealer woes to this and the picture becomes more grim.


https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.times...w/66035499.cms

This was their no 1 dealer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
Main reason is lack of new product launches or slow paced products. Merc and BMW are launching their new products within weeks of their international unveil.
.
Have I missed you elsewhere on forum or you are really posting after an eternity?
BANDHAV is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 17:36   #12
BHPian
 
urajkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chennai
Posts: 406
Thanked: 361 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

In my view the poor design was the biggest reason for this decline - They were the first to use DRL in a large way to make their cars look exciting but soon others followed the trend and slowly every other Audi looked the same - Forget siblings, even the next generation model looked like a mild facelift which was baffling.

If you are going to plonk so much money, the difference should be in the design & interior luxury considering the engines, Chassis, features are commonly available across all car segments now.
urajkumar is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 18:28   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Kochi
Posts: 45
Thanked: 80 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

Here's what I like from Audi:
  • A3 -- great for urban commutes. Perfect size, great interiors. However, I wouldn't keep this as my only car.
  • A4 -- again, the interiors look fresh, and I like its design (although painfully similar to previous A4). Having said that, it offers little advantage against BMW 3 and Merc C.
Here's what I hate:
  • The butch Q7 has been replaced by a station wagon
    XC90, GLS, and GLE (the latter two which are dated) are far more appealing.
  • Front-wheel drive sedans. Enthusiasts would look elsewhere.
  • No good reason to buy Q3, Q5, A6, and A8 over their corresponding rivals from BMW / Mercedes / Volvo / Lexus. The competition has moved on. I'm talking about diesel customers.
Also, I know looks are subjective, but the Q3 and Q5 looks downright ugly.
voldemort is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 18:29   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
drmohitg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Delhi
Posts: 5,045
Thanked: 5,480 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

I feel there are 2 reasons behind it:

1. Discounts being offered by all the 3 major players now all year around.

2. Lack of Innovation.

To be honest I see all these luxury brands broadly divided into 2 groups:
1. BMW for people who love to drive.
2. Rest of the luxury brands ( , Yes I am a fan of BMW)

Now Audi is following Mercedes in this aspect. When Audi was having a free run in our market, Mercedes was struggling for the want of innovations. All their cars looked old and sedate. Audi had all the bling and features to boast off. Now in last 4 years it is the opposite. Mercedes has drastically changed its design language with some of the most beautifully designed cars belonging to them. Also as the other luxury brands are finding a foothold, specially Volvo, these customers are more likely to belong the group who would have earlier opted for Audi or Mercedes. Mercedes is managing to still sell in good numbers because of its fresh designs and ofcourse the badge means a lot to buyers above 40 years ( who grew up seeing and admiring the brand on our roads in the 70s and 80s).
drmohitg is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2019, 18:30   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Jaipur
Posts: 194
Thanked: 331 Times
Default re: Whatever happened to Audi India? Why is the brand struggling since 2016?

I really feel this has to do with VW. Not the emission scandal but the hierarchy rubbing off its practices. Like VW cars always seem very bland in design & driveability to please the masses with its simplicity. Like some old people have designed it for their comfort and refuse to change or update. They are suffering from their own need for perfection & attention to detail, that they hardly take bold moves. Audi has become just like VW.
For eg, Polo when it was launched was the best. Its been almost 10 years and the design doesn't seem to change apart for some nip & tucks. Same is with the Vento, A4, Q3, etc.
BMW, Mini, Rolls Royce all being owned by the same group have very distinct design languages for their brand.
Skoda still seems to be rapid in adapting to the market needs and takes bolder steps. Probably the reason why its better to get a Skoda than an Audi.
deepjaju is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Boeing, Airbus struggling to deliver promised jets blackwasp Commercial Vehicles 9 22nd July 2018 22:11
Struggling in India, Toyota asks Daihatsu to help psankar The Indian Car Scene 33 10th February 2016 18:38
A victim struggling for life........ Surprise Street Experiences 10 18th October 2011 12:11
What is planned, never happened. What ever happened, was not planned. mjothi Travelogues 23 10th January 2011 11:00
Whatever happened to the Ford Ikon 1.8D Revvmaster The Indian Car Scene 3 6th October 2004 13:55


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 03:05.

Copyright 2000 - 2019, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks