Audi Q5 facelift India launch confirmed for November, refreshed X3 rival to be assembled locally

Audi India has confirmed its ninth launch of 2021 will be the return of the Q5. Yes, the Audi Q5 facelift will finally be launched in November, with bookings for the locally-assembled SUV set to open in the next couple of weeks. Audi had suspended sales of a number of its SUVs such as the Q3, Q5 and Q7 when BS6 emission norms came into effect, and the company decided to pull all diesel-powered vehicles from the market. The Q5 – which was a vital product for Audi in India – will soon return with a new look and more features.

“We plan to launch the locally produced Q5 in the month of November. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. So far, we are doing extremely well in spite of the fact that some of our volume models like Q range are not there in full strength,” Audi India Head Balbir Singh Dhillon told PTI.

With this Q5 launch next month, he added, “We are now looking forward towards the next phase of our growth and I’m pretty confident that will also come sooner than later. The Q5 is one of our most successful models from the time that we have been in India.”

The Audi Q5 facelift will return to the Indian market after a gap of a year and a half. Image: Audi

The Audi Q5 facelift will return to the Indian market after a gap of a year and a half. Image: Audi

Audi India, which shares its annual sales numbers only, had sold 1,639 units in 2020. However, in terms of growth in the first eight months of 2021 it has already witnessed 115 per cent increase in sales.

“On the volume side, we already have three-digit growth for this year, and I am expecting that with the Q5 and other models later, it will only go up,” Dhillon said.

On the absence of its popular high-volume models such as Q3, Q5 and Q7 SUVs from the Indian market, Dhillon said when the emission norms in India moved last year from BS4 to BS6 the company had also decided that to go from “petrol plus diesel strategy to petrol and electrification”.

The coronavirus pandemic had also delayed the homologation of the new vehicles for compliance of Indian regulations.

“Homologation is a long process that takes time, and the pandemic also did not help. So, the time got stretched…Normally homologation happens in about nine months but because of the pandemic it got delayed,” he added.

Stating that all those issues are now behind, he said, “We will open up the bookings of the new Q5 in a couple of weeks and then we will start the deliveries next month.”

Bullish on the road ahead, Dhillon said, “We fulfilled our promise of bringing the highest number of electric cars. No other manufacturer even in the volume segment has brought in five electric cars. Our promise of five electric cars in India is fulfilled and now we will fulfil our promise of continuing our cars with petrol strategy.”

The new petrol versions of other popular models Q3 and the Q7 will also be launched in India going forward, he said without disclosing timelines.

With inputs from PTI