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Audi could experiment with models, pricing if India lowers import tax on EVs

Comments of Audi’s executive came after India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said earlier this month that the government plans to come up with a new EV policy as soon.


Lower import duties on electric vehicles would help German automobile manufacturer Audi to better experiment with models and pricing suitable for the Indian soil, Reuters reported citing the company’s executive. The comments by Audi’s executive come at a time when the Indian government is mulling a new electric vehicle policy that would provide tax relief to automakers committing to some domestic manufacturing.


Audi India head Balbir Singh Dhillon told the media outlet on the sidelines of a showroom launch in Bengaluru that if they were to get a window of three to five years during which the government could reduce the duties, it would allow them to experiment with which models would make sense for the country and how it would assist in terms of pricing points. Audi’s India arm is in talks with its parent company to initiate assembling “some” of its electric cars locally, Dhillon added without providing details on timeline or potential models. Audi’s electric vehicle range sold in the country currently includes Q8 e-tron, Q8 Sportback e-tron, and e-tron GT, among others.


Earlier this month, India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said that the government plans to come up with a new EV policy as soon as possible as it aims to boost more investment in the sector. Goyal’s comments follow American automobile company Tesla’s discussions with the government to tap the Indian market and build a factory in the country.


Following Tesla’s proposal, it was reported last month that New Delhi is discussing trimming import taxes in its new EV policy for automakers that commit to some local manufacturing. The government is reportedly considering reducing import tax on fully-built EVs to as low as 15% from the current 100% on cars costing above $40,000. The policy, which could affect Indian automakers such as Tata Motors and Mahindra that are investing to build electric cars at home, is still in its early stages of discussion and the final tax rate could change.