Increase in custom duty will affect prices : Rahil Ansari, Audi India


India Budget 2018

Mr. Rahil Ansari, Head, Audi India
Rahil Ansari

For the luxury auto sector, the Union Budget 2018-19 is disappointing and is against the spirit of partnership. As manufacturers, we have a core social responsibility towards our workforce and the dealer network.

Increase in custom duty and introduction of Social Welfare Surcharge in lieu of an Education Cess (which is higher than the erstwhile Cess), is going to definitely affect the prices again, which will further confuse the customer. The market sentiment had only recently become stable after the introduction of GST Cess. The budget clearly lacks a focus towards the luxury auto industry, which otherwise would have given us a better clarity to plan our strategy for the India market for short and long term.

While as luxury car manufacturers, we are undertaking several initiatives in terms of investment to make the dream of owning a luxury vehicle more realistic for all, we also expect the government to support this industry.

The budget definitely needed an inclusive view for the luxury automobile industry which would have helped the industry to rebound and create more jobs. There is no doubt that increase in auto sales would definitely help the Government in garnering more taxes because of volumes.

Lack of concrete measures for government’s ambitious E-mobility project is surprising. However, investments in infrastructure and rural electrification are a welcome move as it will have a long term positive impact for automobile sector.

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