Audi claims it had to decline bookings for E-Tron from India even before Iron Man showed up in it

A man takes pictures of an Audi's electric vehicle (EV) Q2L 30 e-tron presented during the media day for Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

  • The German car maker had to decline orders for E-Tron cars from India.

  • The company had taken 10 Indians to show a physical model of the electric car yet to be launched in India.

  • The interest in E-Tron in India has spiked since mid April, just days before the Avengers’ release.

  • Audi hopes to launch E-Tron in India by 2020, around the same as Tesla is speculated to bring Model 3 to the South Asian country.
Much before Tony Stark, the man behind the Iron Man suit in the Avengers series, drove down in the E-Tron GT, Indians have been trying to get their hands on the coveted Audi’s E-Tron series.

E-Tron is Audi’s first fully electric car, and is expected to launch in India by 2020. But the German luxury carmaker took a few Indian customers abroad to see the car, and they were so excited about it that they wanted to buy it.

However, the company refused since it was too premature to accept down payment on a car, before they could announce the launch date.

“We said this is too premature, we cannot do this at the moment. But that’s a good sign,” Rahil Ansari, Managing Director, Audi India told Business Insider.

The Multiplier effect

The Audi E-Tron family is a series of electric and hybrid concept cars. The first one came out in 2009. Audi unveiled a plug-in hybrid version, the A3 Sportback E-Tron in 2012, and launched it for retail customers in Europe, in August 2014.


A decade after the unveiling of the E-Tron concept, Audi's first fully electric E-Tron Quattro has gone into production this year.

“We took only 10 (Indian) customers to Germany to have a look at it. And to get that kind of response already, there’s of course a multiplication effect to. It’s pretty good,” Ansari added.

Production line troubles

Audi is reportedly facing troubles in E-Tron production due to shortage of lithium-ion batteries. This could be the reason why they are delaying sales of this futuristic car, which was unveiled amid much fanfare last year.

The searches for E-Tron from India have spiked since mid April. Most people want to know the price and launch date for the model.


The Future is fast

Ansari believes that this model that will work well in India. “If you look at the range of the local cars, it’s typically between 90 and 120 kilometres (per charge). Maybe, in the future, it will be 200-250 kilometres. But the E-Tron has already surpassed this,” he said. According to Audi, the E-Tron will be able to offer 400 kilometres per charge.

While there are people keen on E-Tron, Indians will have a lot more to choose from. Elon Musk is launching his electric car, Tesla in India very soon. Reports say that the Model 3 will be launched in India by 2020, clashing with Audi’s E-Tron launch.

Recent reports rank Tesla’s Model 3, which is much older than the upcoming E-Tron, as more fuel efficient. This is something that could affect the Indian psyche. And, the early bird might be the winner in the market.

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