Volkswagen unveils made-for-India SUVs

Going glocal: VW gave Skoda Auto the task of achieving a 5% combined market share by 2025.

Going glocal: VW gave Skoda Auto the task of achieving a 5% combined market share by 2025.   | Photo Credit: Kamal Narang

Products part of group’s €1 bn investment plan for country

Almost 18 months after announcing its India 2.0 strategy, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India on Monday unveiled the first products developed for India — two SUVs viz. Skoda’s Vision IN and Volkswagen’s Taigun.

In 2018, the Volkswagen Group had announced an investment of €1 billion in India till 2021, while giving Czech firm Skoda Auto the responsibility to take the lead to achieve a combined target of 5% market share by 2025.

Ambitious plans

Stating that the firm had ambitious plans for the Indian market, Skoda Auto chairman of the board of management, Bernhard Maier called for “predictability” in policies in India. “Together with Volkswagen, we are investing €1 billion, which clearly shows we, together, mean business. With such a high investment, I have to say the fundamental thing for us is predictability,” Mr. Maier said.

Talking to reporters, he added that consistency in regulations was very important, and tight lead times put the entire industry under pressure, referring to the switch from BS-IV norms to BS-VI norms. “That helps neither the environment nor the customer…”

He added that there was also a need for a clear roadmap for electric vehicles.

On the India market, he said, “we have seen some volatility in the market in the past few years here but the overall long term picture remains positive.”

Replying to a question on what makes the company confident of gaining market share in the Indian market, Mr. Maier said they have learnt a lot from the past and are now using a completely different approach. “India is probably the most competitive market in the entire world... In order to come up with competitive prices... So, we have to develop products in India and source from India. This is what we are doing now... We have now reached a 90% localisation, heading towards 95%.”

Additionally, Jürgen Stackmann, member of the board of management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for sales, marketing and after-sales, said that in India the brand will focus on SUVs and will launch four new models in the next two years. Mr Stackmann added, “India continues to remain an important market for Volkswagen... world over, SUVs are gaining popularity among our customers, which is why we are introducing Volkswagen’s SUV offensive in India, this year.”

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 3:17:10 AM |

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