German auto major Volkswagen has set a target to garner 3 per cent share in passenger vehicle segment in India, one of its key future markets, according to a senior company official. The company is looking to enhance its brand awareness, while also gradually strengthen its range of products in India to fill gaps in its portfolio and tap fast growing segments. “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,” Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt Ltd, Director Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Steffen Knapp told PTI. Elaborating on the company’s ambition in India, he said: “We are working on all activities, starting with the brand, network and digitalisation and product portfolio to get to 3 per cent market share in future. This is our vision, where we want to come to as VW brand (in India)”. At present, he said VW has a market share of around 1.5 per cent in the country. 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. When asked by when VW aimed to achieve the target market share, Knapp said, “It is is not completely defined but it depends on product cycle. We as a brand will create our product portfolio, network and investments in digitisation are exactly following that vision”.
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. When asked about new products to achieve the 3 per cent market share, he said: “We are constantly filling gaps in the product portfolio…There is also interesting segments coming up in areas where we are also interested and we are looking into that”.
Although he did not elaborate when asked about the fast growing compact SUVs, Knapp said the company hasn’t decided on a model below its newly launched premium SUV Tiguan. VW may look to add a few more dealerships to its existing 125 dealerships mostly in category II cities where it is not present today as part of strategy to achieve the target, he said. Besides, Knapp said: “We have to exploit more the potential in bigger cities and find different ways of addressing needs of those customers”.
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