Volkswagen to focus on SUVs for Indian market
SUVs have always been the most popular body type in India, encouraging different automobile manufacturers to churn out more SUVs / SUV-like offerings. German car manufacturer Volkswagen has now stated that the all-new offerings that it plans to launch next in the country will be an SUV. This update comes in when the company is planning to regain its lost market share that has gone below 1 per cent. While it will continue to offer the existing products and will also introduce periodic face lifts, VW India will be banking on SUVs for its future growth in the country. The company will launch the T-Roc and T-Cross from next year onward.
The Volkswagen is a compact SUV that will take on the Hyundai if launched in India. It is on sale internationally already and is on offer with various petrol and diesel engines, along with the option of either a manual or automatic transmission
In an interview with livemint, Steffen Knapp, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, a division of VW Group Sales India Pvt. Ltd mentioned, "We will transform Volkswagen into an SUV brand in India,". The company's wholesale figures stand at 34,859 units which amounts to 1 per cent of the country's total passenger car market. And the same for Skoda Auto is less that 0.5 per cent. "We will continue to sell the existing cars here, will replace them time to time (with new face-lifts), but the additional products that we plan to bring will only be SUVs. That's because I see this trend of rising demand for SUVs in the local market here. I believe that the SUV is the car for India more than any other country in the world," Knapp told livemint.
Earlier this year, Skoda India and Volkswagen Group India today unveiled a new technology center at it's production facility in Chakan, Pune. The center is a major development in it's India 2.0 plan which aims to Garner five per cent market share in India. This center is part of the EUR 250 million the group will invest in R and D for the Skoda led 2.0 plan. The first project being taken up here is the development of the India-specific MQB A0 IN. The 250 Indian engineers employed at this center will work on project management, electronics, infotainment, body design, interior, chassis and complete vehicle. The platform will see up to 95% localization.
The Volkswagen looks promising and is a good driver's car as well, like most Volkswagens. The Indian version will differ slightly, though we expect it to offer the same sporty feel and boast serious equipment levels, while looking more muscular than the European version here
The overall investment for India 2.0 will cross the EUR 1 billion mark. A concept based on this platform will debut at the 2020 Auto Expo. This will be a small SUV, possibly under sub-four-metres. The group promises that customer service will take a step forward with this plan, prices too will drop. Volkswagen will launch the T-Roc in India.
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