German car manufacturer Volkswagen is aiming at accumulating 3 per cent share in passenger vehicle segment in India. India being one of the important market for the Volkswagen brand, the company plans to gradually strengthen its range of products as well as enhance its brand awareness. Currently, the company holds a market share of around 1.5 per cent.
In the fiscal ended March 2017, passenger vehicles (PV) sales in India stood at 30,46,727 units as against 27,89,208 in the previous year. Although the company has not defined a timeline to achieve the target market share and has stated that it will depend on the product cycle. However, Volkswagen will create its product portfolio, network and investments in digitization as part of its vision. Speaking about its plans for India, Steffen Knapp, Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt Ltd, Director Volkswagen Passenger Cars said, “For us this (India) is one of the future markets and we need to strengthen our footprint in this market... We have a clear vision of where we want to go to and have a sustainable business in India.”
On the challenges ahead, he said while the VW brand has been established at a good level, in terms of unaided awareness—a measure of the number of people who express knowledge of a brand or product without prompting—as an automotive manufacturer it has a long way to go. “Here, we have a value of only 34 per cent. That means either the people do not consider us or the majority of people are not knowing us. There is a huge potential for us to grow in this unaided awareness,” Knapp said.
Although Knapp has not elaborated more on the fast growing compact SUVs, he said that the company hasn't decided on a model below its newly launched premium SUV, the Tiguan. In efforts to further strengthen its presence in India, the company plans to further expand its dealership network from the existing 125 dealerships. Along with finding different ways to address customer needs, the company will also explore potential in bigger cities.