German auto major Volkswagen is eyeing to more than double its market share in India to up to 7 per cent by 2018, when it aims to become the largest car maker in the world.
“Our current market share in the Indian car market is around 3 per cent. The target is to achieve around 6-7 per cent market share by 2018,” Volkswagen India Passenger Cars Managing Director Arvind Saxena said.
Globally, the company has announced its ambition to become the number one car maker by 2018.
Without disclosing details, he said the company will focus on all segments that are growing in the Indian market to drive sales.
For the current year, Mr. Saxena said, “The market continues to be down and we don’t expect any growth. We are looking to maintain our market share of last year.”
He declined to comment on whether the company planned to enter the fast growing compact SUV segment and the sub-4 metre sedan market in India.
For this year, Mr. Saxena said the company will introduce new variants of existing models and limited editions to keep the sales counter ticking.
According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, passenger car sales in India during 2012-13 stood at 18,95,471 units.
In November last year, Volkswagen Group Board Member and Executive vice-president Ulrich Hackenberg had said India would not be a priority market for introduction of new models, such as small car Up! and major investments till 2015 as the “business case is not positive”.
“India is a possibility... We are looking at the business case, which is not positive. In connection to the investment we need to do, we are not in the situation to do that,” he had said.
The company, which was having VAT refund issues with the government of Maharashtra where it has two manufacturing plants, is undecided on setting up fresh facility required for new models like the Up!
In January 2012, VW group had announced plans to invest Rs 2,000 crore for expanding operations in India, only to declare later in May same year that it had been put on hold as the VAT refund issue with Maharashtra government remained unresolved.
In the meantime, the group had last year announced investment of €100 million (over Rs 700 crore) in India over two years for upgrading products and existing facilities.
It has two manufacturing facilities at Chakan and Aurangabad.