By Hritam Mukherjee
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Volkswagen-owned Audi’s India unit said on Friday that any potential cut down on electric vehicle (EV) import taxes would help the German carmaker experiment better with models and pricing in the world’s third-largest car market.
“If we get a window of three to five years where the government is able to reduce the duties, it will let us experiment what models make sense for India and help in terms of pricing points,” Audi India head Balbir Singh Dhillon told Reuters on the sidelines of a showroom launch in Bengaluru.
Reuters reported last month that the Indian government is working on a new EV policy that would slash import taxes for automakers that commit to some local manufacturing.
Dhillon said that the India arm is in talks with the German parent to initiate assembling “some” of its electric cars locally, but declined to provide details on timeline or potential models.
Audi is trying to catch up with its peers, BMW and Mercedes, in the transition to electric. Currently, the company’s India arm only makes internal combustion engines locally, which is used in its petrol cars.
India’s commerce minister, Piyush Goyal, said earlier in the week that the government will consult with the industry and come out with a new policy to attract greater EV investments.
The efforts come as India pushes towards greener mobility, with the government hoping to increase electric car sales to 30% by 2030 from current nascent levels of 2%. Of this, luxury EVs are a fraction.
After four models launched last month, six out of 16 models in Audi India’s offerings are electric cars, which are entirely imported and sold in the country priced between $136,000 and $234,000.
(Reporting by Hritam Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)