Volkswagen India has earned another feather in its cap as the German manufacturer today rolled out the 4,00,000th car from the assembly line at its manufacturing facility, in Pune. The plant located in Chakan, Pune became operational in March 2009 and caters to both the domestic as well as the company’s other global markets. The 4,00,000th car to be produced at the facility was a Polo Highline diesel variant.
Built with an investment of Rs 3,800 crore, the Volkswagen plant in Chakan occupies a total area of over 575 acres and during its peak, employed a work force of over 3,500 people. The plant has a capacity of churning out 1,30,000 vehicles per annum and currently produces the Volkswagen Polo and the Vento in both the left-hand-drive and right-hand-drive versions as well as the Skoda Rapid.
Mr. Mahesh Kodumudi, president and MD, Volkswagen India Private Limited said, “With over 400,000 cars produced at our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the domestic as well as export market, we have firmly established our operations. We will continue to focus on productivity and further localisation to cater to the demand from our markets.”
Volkswagen also has a facility in Aurangabad which manufactures the other premium cars of the Volkswagen group and has an annual capacity of producing 89,000 vehicles. In all, Volkswagen group offers 25 models in India which are sold under Audi, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche and Volkswagen marquees.
While this achievement is definitely worth celebrating, the truth is that despite being around for more than half a decade, it only has two per cent market share in India. The absence of an entry-level hatchback and a compact sedan has severely affected its volumes as these segments are doing really well in India. It was recently revealed that Volkswagen is planning to develop cars in the aforementioned segments soon, though we will have to wait and watch whether these cars help the manufacturer capture a bigger share of the world’s sixth largest car market.