Audi pitches for lower import duties on electric vehicles

New Delhi: German luxury carmaker Audi has termed high taxation on imported cars in India an impediment for growth of the electric segment while noting that even some relief in terms of duties could help it sell more vehicles and convince its headquarters to re-invest in the country for local manufacturing of such models.
The company, which now sells five electric cars in the country, noted that lower taxes would help in lowering the price tag of the imported models which would help it in achieving a certain minimum volumes in the market.
With a certain scale, the company can then try to convince its global headquarters to re-invest in the country for setting up local manufacturing for models which are currently being imported.
In an interaction, Audi India Head Balbir Singh Dhillon noted that the company has been able to sell the first set of electric vehicles it imported into the country for sale.
The first set of e-trons brought into the country are all sold off. It gives us confidence that people are ready, India is ready for electric mobility. All this is helping us to introduce more and more such cars, he noted.
The company last week added two new fully electric four-door coupes – the e-tron GT and the RS e-tron GT – in India, taking the total number of such cars in its portfolio to five models.
He, however, pointed out that import duties are turning out to be a limiting factor.
If duty is less, probably we can sell more in the country, Dhillon said.
Import duties are high so that is something where our request to the government is if something can be done regarding it. Even if some relief is for a 3-5 years period it will help us achieve a certain minimum volume which would help us convince our headquarters to invest further in the country to start making the cars locally.
At present, cars imported as completely built units (CBUs) attract customs duty ranging from 60 per cent to 100 per cent, depending on engine size and cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value less or above USD 40,000.
Counting on the positives, Dhillon noted that lower GST rate of 5 per cent and help given by some state governments in terms of registration costs were some of the factors which were beneficial for the electric car segment.