Audi has started Indian assembly of the Q7 luxury SUV at its Aurangabad plant, in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Up to 1,000 will be built a year to supply the Indian market. After the A4, A6 and Q5, this is the fourth model to be assembled in India.

"Local production of the Audi Q7 is part of our long-term growth strategy in India, one of the most promising auto markets in the world," said Audi production chief Frank Dreves.

"The very good infrastructure in the plant, efficient working processes, a qualified workforce and a well developed logistics environment, along with the surging growth of the Indian market, were the factors that motivated us to expand the Aurangabad plant."

The Q7 is made in a newly constructed hall at the Volkswagen group plant Škoda Auto India. Production of the Q3 in the new 20,000 sq m (215,278 sq ft) extension is planned from mid-2013.

"Local production of the Q7 means Audi India is now building a second Q model locally. That will reduce waiting times for our customers and we will be able to offer a wider range of versions," said Audi India chief Michael Perschke.

Increasing demand for the Q SUVs has had a major impact on the brand's growth in India: in the first 10 months, the company increased sales 55% to 7,273 units, well ahead of the 5,511 cars sold in 2011.

Audi will have 25 dealerships throughout the country by the end of this year.