Horns are a fixture of Indian driving. Rather than being used to signal anger like in the United States, horns are used for almost everything on Indian roads – one study found that major intersections in Calcutta have one horn honk every three seconds.
Just like Audi’s Chinese cars come with longer wheelbases, Indian Audis have loud horns. Really loud horns. Audi India head Michael Perschke told a conference of luxury retailers that the company actually designs louder horns for the Indian market. According to a report in The Globe and Mail
“Obviously for India, the horn is a category in itself,” he told the Indian financial newspaper Mint. “You take a European horn and it will be gone in a week or two. With the amount of honking in Mumbai, we do on a daily basis what an average German does on an annual basis.”
Perschke said that the horns are blown continuously for two weeks to test their strength. India supposedly has decibel level laws design to eliminate this problem, but like many other regulations in the country, they are flouted with little regard for the law. Traffic wardens and other residents of major cities are experiencing a hearing-loss epidemic, which is being blamed partially on the sheer noise of motor vehicles. Taking a cue from Chinese vehicles, Audi also said that their future Indian products will focus more on rear-seat comfort, since most well-to-do Indians have a driver.