Audi is fast emerging as the significant brand in the nascent Indian luxury car market. The German carmaker has adopted an aggressive strategy and is fast catching up with rivals like BMW and Mercedes Benz here.

“With an exceptional sales performance in the first seven months, we are well poised to achieve our sales target of 5,000 cars in 2011,” said local chief Michael Perschke on the sidelines of the seventh generation A6 sedan media launch.

Audi India has already launched five new models with 13 engine options so far in 2011.

Sales of 3,145 units in January-July were up 93% year on year and well past the 3,003 units sold in 2010.

We are bringing in the A8 [4.2-litre diesel] in the next quarter and introducing the Q3 [small SUV] in early 2012,” Perschke revealed.

Audi is after 25% of the Indian luxury car market by 2020.

Perschke said: “India’s automobile market is poised to [be good for] 5m to 6m [units] by 2020, emerging as the third or fourth largest in the world. The luxury car market would likely be 3% to 4% of the total market and we [plan to] corner 25% of [that] by 2020.”

Like rivals and parent Volkswagen, Audi builds some cars locally and will add a second shift from September. That will take CKD kit assembly capacity to 6,000 units. It is investing EUR30m in India from 2008 to 2015 expanding the Aurangabad plant, strengthening its dealer network and generally developing the brand.

“We have already spent EUR18m [and the remaining] EUR12m [will] be spent on expansion and product launches till 2015,” Perschke said.

Asked about engine assembly at Aurangabad, he said: “We are assembling A4, A6 and Q5 engines in India.”

He also said Audi would launch two or three new models at the key Auto Expo 2012 motor show in New Delhi next January.

Meanwhile, Audi has embarked on an intensive recruitment drive to hire around 600 employees over the next two years, in line with the product launches and dealer expansion planned for India.

“As part of our expansion strategy, we are also strengthening our dealer network to tier two and three cities. We already have 13 dealers across India and will have 12 more by 2012,” Perschke added.