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Temporary Cut in Duties Will Help Build Volumes: Audi

German luxury-car maker Audi said a temporary reduction in import duties will help build volumes requires for manufacturing electric vehicles in India, at a time when the government has approved a Rs. 25,938 crores production linked-incentive scheme to encourage transition to green mobility.

While the company is evaluation the scheme for the automobile sector, it would have to attain certain threshold numbers before it can invest in making electric cars here, Audi India head Balbir Singh Dhillon told ET “So, that is why the request to the government is to reduce the import duties, even if it is done for three to five years, by that time, we could be able to reach a certain threshold volume where our decision of foreign investments come through.”

In the short term, if the import duties are reduced, it would enable the company to being more cars equipped with the latest technology to the country. On gaining adequate volume, it could also start making them locally, he said.

Audi joins the ranks of American electric car maker Tesla which has pitched for a cut in the import duty, saying that the levy imposed by India is the highest among large countries and that it can only consider setting up a factory locally if it succeeds with imported models. India imposes 100% import duty on cars with a CIF (cast, insurance, freight) value of more than $ 40, 000 and 60% on cheaper vehicles.

Dhillon said the company has received “unprecedented” response to the Audi e-tron and e-tron Sports back launched in July. It has sold off the first lot.

With the launch of the Audi e-tron GT and Audi RS e-tron GT, priced at Rs. 1.80 crore and Rs. 2.05 crore (ex-showroom), respectively, the company now has five electric vehicles on offer in the country. S-ET

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