Volkswagen, one of the largest car manufacturers in Europe, is betting big on India with its small car portfolio. Though India contributes a mere 0.3% to the global sales of Volkswagen group, the company is planning to increase its market share in the country by 8 to 10% in the next four-to-six years from 1.35% now on the back of its highest selling Skoda Fabia and soon to be launched Polo.
“Volkswagen Group is banking on India in a big way for their growth in the future. Experts predict a huge increase in the overall demand for cars in India from 1.4 million units in 2009 to more than 2 million cars per year by 2014. As a part of the market development Volkswagen Group aims to increase their market share by 8-10% within the next four to six years,” Kurt Rippholz, spokesperson, Volkswagen group said.
According to Rippholz, Skoda Fabia is the highest selling model of Volkswagen Group in India as there is huge demand for compact cars in the country. “Going forward, Volkswagen expects to increase its sales significantly in India as Polo is the first car from Volkswagen brand in this high volume segment,” he said, adding that other bestsellers of the group in India include the Laura from Skoda, the Jetta from Volkswagen and the A4 from Audi.However, it will be years before India could match the sales of Brazil and China despite the fact that all three group companies, Skoda, Audi and Volkswagen, are present in the country with a strong line-up of products. The total group sales in the country stood at 19,001 units in 2009 as compared to 18,755 units in 2008, a growth of 1.3%.
On the contrary, the group’s sales in China went up by 36.7% at 1.4 million units vis-à-vis 1.03 million units in 2008 while the group registered a jump of 8.7% in Brazil at 6,88,300 units in 2009 as compared to 6,33,300 units sold in the preceding year.
The company, which showcased Polo at the recently concluded Auto Expo, will launch the vehicle in March and the race variant of the Polo will follow in June. The Polo will come in both 1.2 litre petrol and diesel variants while the Polo Race will have the 1.6 litre R4 common rail diesel engine.
The company plans to roll out 4,000-4,500 units of Polo from its Pune plant which has an installed capacity of 1,10,000