Volkswagen India Private Limited operates its manufacturing plant in Chakan, Maharashtra which has been set up at an investment of INR 4,000 crores. The plant is spread over an area of 575 acres and employs a workforce of over 3,500 people. This plant has the capacity to produce 200,000 vehicles per annum and is from where VW produces its Polo and Vento. This plant is also shared with Skoda Auto India for the manufacturer of Skoda Rapid.
Reaching a milestone of 4 lakh cars is noteworthy. The plant caters to domestic sales and exports to 32 markets in three continents. The 4,00,000th car rolled out is a Polo Highline for domestic markets fitted with a 1.5 liter TDI engine.
Volkswagen AG is present in India for the past 13 years and is represented by its five brands Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda and Volkswagen. Despite the fact that VW has a long history with India, the company has failed to capture more than 2.1% of market share due to lack of diverse mass market product range.
VW does not have an offering in the entry level hatchback segment and nor in the compact sedan segment, both of which are much in demand among Indian buyers. Sales of VW during the fiscal ended 31st March 2013 fell 24% to 52,525 units thus ranking 6th among 14 automakers in India where it competes with the likes of leading automakers such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motors and Honda.
But, the company has laid out extensive plans to launch new products in the entry level segment. This includes a new sub 4 meter sedan, SUV, and a new hatch below the Polo. Apart from this, the company plans to add another Rs 1,500 crores as investment for increasing capacity, and R&D. Volkswagen aims to become world’s No 1 car maker by 2018, and India is expected to play a major role in that.
Further read – Volkswagen Polo Diesel Review