Audi ‘partly’ disagrees with Mercedes on lowering import duty on cars – Times of India


NEW DELHI: After Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, the German luxury carmaker Audi said the government should consider lowering import duties on electric cars but for a window of 3-5 years for the market to prosper.
Audi India on Wednesday launched India’s first set of electric sports cars. The e-tron GT and e-tron RS GT are priced at Rs 1.80 crore and Rs 2.05 crore (ex-showroom).
“Given a window of 3-5 years of low import duties, it will help us reach certain volumes in these cars earlier than otherwise. Once we reach a certain minimum volume, we can make a business case for the future. This will also encourage manufacturers to localize these cars here,” said Balbir Singh Dhillon, head of Audi India.
Earlier in the month, Martin Schwenk, head of Mercedes-Benz India in a conversation with TOI called the duty on imported cars “outrageous”, supporting Tesla’s similar demand.
The GT series extends Audi’s line-up of electric cars in India to 5 in less than three months. Full imported cars or CBUs (completely built units) attract 60% duties if priced under $40,000 and 100% for products over that.
Dhillon sought rationalization of import duties to stabilize the market of electric vehicles. “Lowering the duties will trigger volumes, which in turn will equalize the tax structure,” Dhillon concluded.
Audi India informed close to 110% duty is levied on the recently-launched e-tron series. The company is adopting a top-down strategy, bringing in premium electrified products, to establish the e-tron brand.
The first batch of e-tron 50, e-tron 55 and e-tron 55 Sportback was sold out. Dhillon expects the next batch is expected to hit Indian shores by the end of 2021.

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