But, that is the past. VW India says that they have used the past 6-7 years as a learning curve, and now have chalked out a plan which will see them launch new cars which will be developed keeping mind the perspective of buyers in India.
Volkswagen India has already invested about €680 million (Rs 5,447 crores). Now, they are planning to increase this amount by €100 million (Rs 801 crores) over the next three years. This will be used to increase production at their plant in Chakan, engine assembly and increasing localization.
Production at the Volkswagen India plant today stands at about 100,000 units annually. This could easily be increased to 150,000 units if they work three shifts. The plant is also ready to increase production to 200,000 units annually, with minor modifications. They aim to produce 200,000 cars annually by 2017/18.
As far as launching new cars is concerned, Volkswagen will launch the Polo facelift in India by July 2014, which will be followed by the launch of Vento facelift, just before the Diwali season. Updates to be offered on these two cars will be in the form of LED headlights, electric ORVMs, a slightly redesigned front grille, more airbags (Vento only) and new alloys.
Under the hood, both Polo and Vento will receive a new 1.5l four cylinder diesel engine which will generate 104 bhp. This engine will replace the existing 1.2l 3 cyl diesel engine in the existing Polo and 1.6l four cylinder diesel engine in the Vento. As far as price of Polo and Vento facelift’s is concerned, expect them to continue to be the same as existing pricing. Rs 5-6.5 lakhs for Polo and Rs 7.5-9.5 lakhs for the Vento.
For 2015, VW has planned another Vento facelift. This will be a major facelift and will feature a completely new front. They also plan on re-launching their premium hatchback Beetle and Tiguan SUV in 2015. For 2016, Volkswagen aims to launch their sub 4 meter sedan, currently called as ‘Polo Stuffe’ internally. Once launched, the Polo sedan will compete with Maruti DZire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent, Ford Figo sedan, and Tata Zest. They will also launch a new compact SUV to compete with the Ford EcoSport. This will most likely be in the form of Taigun, which was showcased at the Auto Expo earlier this year.
Another reason behind low sales of Volkswagen cars in India is their high cost. Compared to competition, price of VW cars in India is higher because they have low localization content. Volkswagen is also going to solve this problem in the coming months. They have revealed that their localization content will gradually be increased to 90% which will make it possible for them cars at competitive prices.
via Economic Times