FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker Audi AG said Thursday that it had started production of its midsize A6 luxury sedan in India, with the aim of producing more than 2,000 cars a year by 2015 at a plant there.
Audi, along with other automakers, is looking to India as a growth market, with demand for brands on the rise there as more and more Indians look to buy cars from Europe and elsewhere.
''Starting our own production there is the best way to adequately serve such a promising growth market like India,'' said Rupert Stadler, chief executive of Audi, part of Volkswagen AG, Europe's biggest automaker by sales.
He said Audi will invest euro30 million (US$44 million) by 2015 in the Aurangabad plant in Maharashtra state, with the A6 being assembled there and sold to Indian customers.
The company also hopes to start assembling its A4 model there starting later this year.
There are currently 35 employees working in Aurangabad on the Audi production line, with that figure to reach more than 50 by the end of the year. Audi said it expects to assemble more than 300 A6 models by the end of 2008.
Audi has been operating in India for nearly three years, setting up a Mumbai-based sales subsidiary and importing models such as the A8, Q7 and TT for sale in the country.
Shares of Audi were up 1.4 percent to euro635 (US$932.69) in Frankfurt trading.