Volkswagen plans to sell Beetle next yr
Volkswagen plans to sell Beetle next year
New Delhi: The Beetle could be buzzing on Indian roads a few months down the line. Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, is planning to import and sell this iconic car brand in India next year.
Though completely built unit (CBU) imports would mean that the Beetle will come with a steep price tag — CBU imports attract over 100% duty — Volkswagen says it is merely looking at a niche market for this car in India.
Kurt Rippholz, the head of communications of the Volkswagen Group in India, confirmed to DNA Money that the Beetle would be in India in 2009.
“We will position it as a lifestyle car, in the niche segment in India. Even in the home market (Germany), the Beetle and is positioned as a lifestyle vehicle for a certain few.” He said the pricing for India is yet to be decided.
Volkswagen is present in India as Volkswagen India, SkodaAuto India and Audi India. The carmaker currently has a 30,000-unit manufacturing capacity at Aurangabad and is in the process of setting up a 1.1-lakh unit facility at Chakan (Pune), which is scheduled to go on stream next year.
The Aurangabad plant rolls out Skoda cars ‘Superb’, ‘Laura’, ‘Octavia’ and ‘Fabia’; Audi ‘A6’ and ‘A4’; and Volkswagen ‘Jetta’ and ‘Passat’. Once Chakan becomes operational, production of Fabia hatchback will shift from Aurangabad.
Rippholz said despite a global slowdown, Volkswagen Group’s capex and investment plans for India remain on course. The company has marked Rs 3,600 crore for the country and will be launching two new cars based on its global ‘Polo’ platform in 2010. One would be a hatchback while the other would be a sedan.
“We are developing a new Polo platform and the two cars will roll off this new platform with specifications for Indian market built in. This platform is specifically being designed for BRIC countries,” Rippholz said.
On whether Skoda Fabia’s pricing is being tweaked to make it more affordable and therefore more competitive in the hatchback segment, Rippholz replied in the negative.