MUMBAI : Volkswagen Passenger Cars, a division of newly formed Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd, plans world premiere of its first product under the group’s India 2.0 strategy – a compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) based on its MQB-A0 platform. Along with that, for the first time the German carmaker would showcase its electric vehicle based on the popular MEB platform in India next month.
The VW brand announced on Thursday that it will launch four new SUVs over the next two years, thereby aiming to capitalize on the stable demand for utility vehicles even as the domestic market continues to witness its worst downturn in the past two decades. VW, which is currently absent in the fast growing SUV segment, aims to compete with the likes of popular models such as the Hyundai Creta, Mahindra XUV500, Maruti Vitara Brezza and others.
“We understand the rapidly changing preferences of our Indian consumers and in-line to the same, we will introduce one of our biggest SUV offensive portfolio for the Indian shores,” Steffen Knapp, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India said in a press statement.
In November last year, Mint had reported that Volkswagen aims to transform into an SUV brand in India market in an attempt to revive its fortunes in the domestic market. Despite the company’s presence in India for over 18 years, it’s market share stood at only 1% (in FY2019).
According to vehicle production forecasting agency IHS Markit, the share of SUVs has grown from 9% to 24% between CY2010 and CY2018 in India’s passenger car market.
In 2018, VW Group had announced that it would invest 1 billion euros for the development of new passenger cars under Skoda and Volkswagen brands. It had initiated the merger of its three local entities – Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd, Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt. Ltd and Skoda Auto India Pvt. Ltd, for achieving greater synergies and faster decision making.
Skoda Auto Volkswagen India is developing six new models for domestic as well as export markets under its India 2.0 strategy, which aims to turnaround the carmaker’s India business and make it profitable.