Mumbai: It seems the fight for the leadership position in the luxury car space will continue amongst the Germans, with Audi upping its ante to unseat the incumbent masters - BMW and Mercedes Benz--by the turn of 2015.
    
"Having recorded 95 per cent growth during the January- -August period here, India is well ahead of other growth markets for us globally and we are confident that we are on track with our vision of being the No 1 luxury car maker in India by 2015," Audi India Head Michael Perschke said in a statement.
    
In August, Audi reported a 100-plus per cent jump in sales at 510 units, as against 250 units in the month-ago period. During the January-August period, its sales jumped a full 95 per cent to 3,655 units from 1,876 units in the year-ago period.
    
On the back of these robust sales numbers, Audi, which is placed at No 3 in the current pecking order, has set an annual target of selling 5,000 units this year.
    
To attain this coveted position, the Volkswagen Group company is ramping up its dealership network on the one hand and hiring more hands on the other.
    
"We will be hiring at least 600 more people and raise dealerships to 25 by the end of 2012. We will also enhance our portfolio with the launch of the Q3 next year," Perschke said.
    
Currently, BMW is the No 1 luxury car-maker in the country, a position it snatched from Merc first time in 2009.     

While Mercedes sold 4,890 units in the January-August period of this fiscal, a growth of by 40 percent against 3,495 units in the year-ago period, BMW sold 5,364 units till July.
    
Even as these foreign car-markers are reporting rocking numbers, domestic auto majors are witnessing a sharp decline in sales since last July, when overall sales slumped 16.7 per cent-- a 30-month low. August was no better either as the month saw domestic sales falling over 10 per cent.
 
Recently Merc had said that it wants to claw back its leadership position here by 2015 and towards this it would be launching 10 new models over the next three years.
    
"Our entire product portfolio, relevant to this market, will come here in the next three years...I think, we will have 9 to 10 new brands by then," Mercedes-Benz India Sales & Marketing Director Debashis Mitra said.
    
Some of these new products will also include its proposed small cars, Mitra had added.
    
Merc India had first lost its leadership position to BMW in 2009 when it could sell only 3,247 units as against BMW's 3,619 units. In 2010 too, Merc sold 5,819 cars compared to 6,246 units of BMW.
    
On the market leadership position, BMW said it is confident of maintaining its No 1 slot, which it has done for the last two years, in future too.
    
"Our cars are positioned to attract all generations of people, who aspire to have a BMW. We have no problem in selling cars to uncles, fathers, mothers and pops. Maybe that is the reason for our success," BMW India President Andreas Schaaf had said.
    
While other players are currently reviewing their targets downward in the light of the negative sales numbers beginning July, Audi is confident to exceed its set target of 5,000 units this year.
    
"We are confident that we will exceed our set target of 5,000 units this year," Perschke said.
    
Audi continues to be the market leader in the luxury SUV segment with its Q5 and Q7 and in the super sports car segment with its R8, he said.
    
Audi India sells various models including Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi A7 Sportback and Audi A8L.

(Agencies)