It has been in news for quite a while now that Volkswagen has some pretty big plans for India, which has forever been a mediocre market for them. One big name behind all of this is of Mr. Gurpratap Boparai who is the MD and head of Volkswagen Group India. On 30th November 2018 he said, “India 2.0 will not be the singular way forward for us here. It shouldn’t be confused with or limited to the first set of products we bring. It’s a concerted strategy as it’s our second coming in the Indian market.”
Highlights of the Project:
• Mr. Boparai was announced as the head of Volkswagen India on 20th November 2018.
• The project looks forward to launch multiple new models in the course of around 7 years [2018-2025].
• Skoda Automotive Pvt. Lmt. will lead the project.
• The budget that has been put forward is ~₹8,000 crore (€1 billion).
• A 5% market share is to be achieved until 2025.
• It focuses on 95% localization of their models and parts.
• Increasing the sales of VW and Skoda cars which have seen a decline of 1.48% and 24.3% respectively since the last year.
• R&D departments have been set in Pune and 200 engineers have already been assigned to work on the MQB-A0-IN platform.
Skoda Sub-compact SUV: As Skoda has been assigned as the leader, the first model on the MQB-A0-IN platform will be a sub-compact SUV from Skoda to rival Hyundai Creta, Jeep Compass and others of the sort.
Volkswagen T-Cross: This will be launched soon after the launch by Skoda in 2020 or 2021. However, it’ll be an India-spec T-Cross unlike Europe. The India-spec T-Cross will have larger dimensions and a significantly larger rear passenger space as per the demand of the Indian market.
Volkswagen Vento: Launched in 2010, this was a sales success not only in India but also in Russia, Brazil and other Latin American countries. It’s sales have been in a decline for some years because of being too outdated and its not expected to get a new generation until MQB-A0-IN is launched which will be introduced in 2020. Until then, VW Virtus isn’t what we should expect to get launched. A localization of upto 90% is to be achieved within the first 6 months of launch as per the portfolio.
Skoda Rapid: Launched 1 year later than Vento, Rapid could never sell as much as it’s direct sibling, Vento mainly because of the infamous Skoda brand name. Its still sold but just like Vento and Polo, has all-time low sales now. We can only hope for VW to not fade out this excellent alternative to Vento when theyare done with this generation
Volkswagen Polo MK6: Polo, which has not been a less successful hatchback in India has also seen a major decline in it’s sales because of the competitors offering much better features now. Europe got the MK6 Polo in 2018. However, its not expected to be launched before the MQB-A0-IN platform gets launched. A localization of upto 90% is to be achieved within the first 6 months of launch as per the portfolio here as well.
Skoda Fabia: One can’t be as confident about the release of Fabia as compared to the other cars since Fabia could never had good sales in India resulting in it’s discontinuation in 2013
Volkswagen Ameo: An unusual offering from VW launched in 2016, Ameo has been based on the same platform as all others out there. The sales have been moderate since it’s maintenance and servicing costs are higher for a compact sedan. Just like it’s siblings, the rivals out-class it in features and stuff being almost the same as Polo. This lil’ powerful guy is also highly expected to get a new generation in 2020-2022 along with it’s siblings. But in my opinion, it’d not be high on their priority list
The India 2.0 project can be called a rebirth for the Volkswagen group who currently are in a desperate need of improvement, especially in the currently sold in India A05 (PQ25) platformed cars which are having a sharp decline in sales. We just hope that everything goes by VW’s side and they reach new horizons after the inevitable success of this mission! The biggest highlight of this project is that VW is going to work according to the Make in India scheme which will be beneficial for VW as it’ll reduce the car prices.