Volkswagen has been taking the Indian market very seriously. It recently launched the facelifted Polo along with its new 1.5-litre diesel engine and has now admitted that the hatchbacks are their second priority as India is a very price-sensitive market with lower margins.
The German manufacturer’s first priority for the next few years is the sub -4 metre compact sedan based on the Vento and a compact SUV, but these won’t come to India until 2016. In a sharp change in strategy, Europe’s largest car maker Volkswagen has decided to develop and launch more India-specific vehicles to suit local tastes instead of the current practice of bringing models sold overseas. Once these two planned models are launched, the company will then bring in small cars that will sit below the Polo. The German manufacturer will not be bringing the Up! and the Fox hatchbacks to India as they are expensive and not feasible for the Indian market.
"The first priority is to launch sub-four metres versions of a sedan and SUV which are being developed for India. These are not the cheap segments and customers are moving up as well. We will take some time for indigenisation, so expect launches from 2016-2017,” said Michael Mayer, director, Volkswagen passenger cars, Volkswagen group sales India.
Even after being Europe’s largest car manufacturer, Volkswagen has been not able to crack the Indian passenger car market. With this new strategy in place, it expects to climb up the market leadership board in the next few years.