German automobile major Volkswagen is considering extending its portfolio and introducing a small car and a sports utility vehicle (SUV) or multi purpose vehicle (MPV) in the Indian market.

Volkswagen makes and sells its Polo and Vento cars here, and recently introduced its `Refresh’ models to coincide with the festive season.

In an interaction with The Hindu, Arvind Saxena, Managing Director, Volkswagen India – Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India, admitted that though Volkswagen was fairly represented in India, the gaps in the company product line were smaller cars. Mr. Saxena said that Volkswagen would certainly consider a premium car below ‘Polo’ for the Indian market, as “small cars would continue to remain a dominant part of the Indian market.”

Premium tag

“However I am not sure if we would consider low-cost cars because getting viable products at that price would be very difficult to support with our brand expectation. There are certain expectations from Volkswagen as a brand – sturdy, safe vehicles which are good to drive etc. To meet these attributes, you cannot really go down to that price point. So though our product could be an entry level or small car, it would not be low-cost,” he said.

Mr. Saxena said that within the utility vehicle (UV) segment, what is growing here is the lower end of the multi-utility vehicle (MUV), MPV in the Rs. 9-13 lakh range.

“As of now, we have no offering in this band but are investigating different products and would decide at an appropriate time.”

Action areas

Mr. Saxena believed that looking forward, growth could come from mid-and-premium small cars and the SUV/MPV segment which would become dominant. “We have seen that the sales volumes in India stay in the smaller cars while growth is much higher in the SUV/MPVs. Clearly the action areas are these two,” he said.


Festive season, a mixed bag for auto unitsDecember 1, 2012

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