15 June: Europe’s biggest carmaker Volkswagen is intensifying efforts to rapidly expand in India, including increasing the number of models and dealerships, as the group eyes an overall market share of 10 per cent in the next five to six years.
"Considering the growth that the Indian market has witnessed, the aim for the Volkswagen group is to have an overall market share of 10 per cent in the next 5-6 years," Volkswagen Group brand communications head Kurt Rippholz told a news agency.
VW Group, which own seven car brands, currently sells Audi, Skoda and the Volkswagen brands in India.
As part of the plan, the group is intensifying efforts to synergise operations between the different group companies; add more dealerships and introduce new models in India.
"The VW brand is currently developing two cars based on the compact car ‘Polo’ platform, which could be rolled out from our Chakan facility by 2010.
One will be a hatchback and the other will be a small sedan," he said, adding that in July the company would launch its sedan Jetta to add to the already existing Passat in India.
He said in order to take on competition from Japanese, mainly Maruti Suzuki, the company is looking to have high levels of localisation to be price competitive.
"The car on the Polo platform will have about 50 per cent localisation to start with and eventually go up to 70-80 per cent," Rippholz said.
To achieve this the group is also expanding its technical office in India to carry out market research and make the car suited to Indian conditions while alos increase component sourcing from the country, he added.
In order to prepare for the launch of the compact car, VW is also ramping up its dealerships across India.
"Last year we had only three dealers but it is being expended to seven now and by the end of the year we are looking at around 15. But before the compact car is launched we plan to have at least 80-100 dealerships across India," he said.
On synergising operations of the VW group companies in India, he said it has already started the process.
"For instance, we are assembling VW’s Passat and Jetta at the Aurangabad plant along with Audi’s other models. Besides, we will start manufacturing Skoda Fabia at the Chakan plant from next year and should help in bringing down its price," Rippholz said.
VW had announced an investment of Rs 3500 crore in the Chakan plant, which will have a capacity to produce 110,000 cars a year.Courtsey : DD NEWS