Audi Q2 SUV to target first-time luxury car buyers
What could very well be India’s most affordable premium vehicle, the Audi Q2, was unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show this March. The Q2 is now the smallest SUV in Audi’s line-up and will compete in a space below its own Q3 and rivals Mercedes’ GLA and BMW’s X1. Audi says the Q2 is aimed at young urban drivers and hopes it will draw new customers to the brand with its fresh design.
Of significance to India, is the fact that in the absence of the A3 hatch, the Q2 could form Audi’s entry point into the brand and thus compete with the Mercedes A-class and the BMW 1-series. Having SUV credentials up against hatchbacks in SUV-loving India will be the ace up Audi’s sleeve and should negate the slightly higher pricing it is likely to come with. The Q2 is not expected to be priced far lower than the Q3 as it features a lot of Audi tech, and the next-generation Q3 due next year will also move a bit higher up the ladder anyway.
For our market, Audi India is evaluating the long-wheel-base version being developed for China. Rear legroom in the current car is quite poor and could be a deal breaker in the Indian luxury market.
Our sources have indicated that another benefit of the China-based model would be the fact that parts imported from VW China are about 15 percent cheaper than those brought in from Europe. This lower cost, along with the reduction in subsequent duties and taxes, would make for a healthy price benefit. In fact, VW has sourced Chinese parts for its India operations like the drive shafts for the current Polo. Also helping the India-bound Q2’s case is local assembly of the 2.0 TDI engine (code EA288) from next year. This could dramatically bring down the costs to make the Q2 viable for the Indian market. “Getting the correct price point is a struggle but somehow we have to bring this car to the Indian market”, said an Audi source.