Audi, India is on a roll. Actually Audi is on a roll worldwide. Their sales in most parts of the world have have been on the rise despite the various economic crises and the general recession that have been plaguing the economies of developed countries in Western Europe and the Eurozone Crisis. Way back in 1996 Mercedes Benz came into India and as far as luxury cars were concerned they were then number one in a field of one. Mercedes Benz has a tremendous brand value in India, only next to Rolls Royce. But however they have been on the back foot for a while now. BMW has assumed the role of the leader not just in India but in many other markets as well. Even though BMW was a late entrant there is no denying that it too had a brand value in India. But the thing is that the third of the techno-intensive luxury car maker Audi came into India with only one memorable event that built their brand in the minds of Indians.
We Indians love cricket. I know I am stating the obvious here but there is a reason. Sports writers and commentators have a way with words. In Spain, sports commentators said that most popular sport is motorcycle racing. Somebody then said “isn’t football the number one sport”. The repartee was “oh football is not a sport in Spain, it is a religion”. Our commentators to have picked up the line and applied that to cricket in India. Our good old ex-cricketers turned TV commentators started saying cricket is a religion in this country. One of the ex-cricketers turned TV commentators who very regularly mouths this platitude goes by the name of Ravi Shastri. I can see your brows deeply furrowed. You are asking yourself, what in God’s name is this fellow going on about. Some of you may have found the clue to what I am saying when I mentioned Ravi Shastri, but those of you who did not get it yet deserve to be told the full story.
In 1983 India won the World Cup of cricket under the able stewardship of the great Kapil Dev. But that is not the last time that India won a World Championship in the 1980s. You see the Australians were experimenting with day-night pajama cricket. Many Australian cricket grounds were equipped with flood lights for night cricket action. Australia wanted to show case this and therefore created a championship which it called “World Championship of Cricket” a one off tournament. All the cricketing countries were there, and against all odds India won this championship as well. But the Aussie enterprise was not just limited to pajama cricket under lights. They also started the trend of giving away cars to the player of the tournament. But in this case the player of the tournament was given the fancy designation of “Champion of Champions”. Ravi Shastri became that and he was presented with a car which happened to be an Audi 100 in gold colour.
Cricket fanatics and afficionados know that Channel 9, the broadcaster of cricket from Australia had the most wonderful way of showing cricket. And when the good Mr. Shastri won the Audi 100 they showed him driving the car around on the cricket ground with various members of the Indian cricket team perched on the bonnet, the dicky, the roof and some standing on the door sills with the doors wide open. The four rings of the Audi brand were prominently visible thanks to the incredible pictures that Channel 9 was putting out. So Audi entered the mainstream of Indian people. The teenagers and the early twenties aged people of the 1980s have become the successful generation of the new century and so a few years ago when Audi came into India it did so at a time when the starry eyed lads and lassies of the 1980s acquired purchasing power. And so Audi despite having the smallest number of dealers started selling well above everyone’s expectations. It is trend that has been continuing and given the nature of their products one sees no reason why this trend should get reversed. Audi of course, is doing its bit to ensure that it goes beyond the once teeny bopper generation and talk to the present youngsters as well.
Audi is a trend setting manufacturer. It has taken diesel engined cars to the Le Mans series and has dominated it. Peugeot was its only real opposition. But its success is not on the same scale as Audi’s. Audi has brought its entire range of cars to India and they are all doing quite well thank you. In the range of cars that Audi has brought are the very sporty R cars. The R8 cars sport a V10 engine and can give sister brand Lamborghini and competitor Ferrari a run for their money. The R8 V10 and the RS5 are true sports cars. Now driving sports cars is a thing that should come with responsibility. Otherwise one will end up with incidents such as the one in Delhi when a Lamborghini Gallardo was crashed by a driver who died instantly. Audi is therefore giving lessons in how to drive the R8 V10 Spyder and the RS5.
It has brought the Audi R Drive to India and many Indian cities will get covered in this initiative. The idea is to give driving lessons to Audi customers so that they know when and how to extract the maximum out of their cars. The Audi R Drive will feature both the R8 V10 Spyder and the RS5. Here is the itinerary that Audi has created.
The ‘Audi R-Drive’ schedule is as follows:
About the Audi R Drive this is what Michael Perschke had to say.
We exhort you the existing customers and prospective ones to attend this Audi R Drive and be responsible. It is not just your life, the lives of other road users are also at stake here.