Volkswagen AG is the biggest automobile manufacturer in Germany. Founded in 1937, this company has grown up steadily after the world war and is the second biggest car maker in the world. Many big and premium cars have rolled out from their stable and many of them have come to the Indian shores. With an eye on the expanding Indian automobile market, they have formed a company the Volkswagen India Private Limited and established a production unit at Chakan in Maharashtra in the year 2007.
Many Volkswagen models are on sale in India. They include the hatchbacks, the Polo and the Beetle, and the sedans, the Vento, the Jetta, the Passat and the Phaeton. The SUVs, Cross Polo and Touareg, are also available in India. The Polo and the Vento are assembled at their plant from complete knock downs. Volkswagen Polo was unveiled in 2010 at the Indian Expo 2010. This hatchback in petrol and diesel variants has a base price of Rs 4.96 lakhs. The Vento, a sedan on the same lines of the Polo with an added boot was launched in early 2011. Out of the 7 models of the Vento, the Petrol AT version has an automatic transmission.
With an eye on the rapidly expanding midsize sedan market in India, VIPL launched their sedan Jetta in the middle of 2012 with 4 diesel variants and 3 petrol variants. To compete in the SUV segment, VIPL launched their Rs 56 lakhs SUV, the Touareg, quietly in September 2012. The rugged construction and the added safety and comfort features made it worth for the high price.
The mileage of 8.7 kmpl was slightly on the lower side. As its sales were not encouraging, a cheaper SUV Cross Polo was launched in August 2013 having a TDI engine with a better fuel economy of 22 kmpl.
Volkswagen Beetle, a small car, was introduced in 2009. This 4 seater hatchback priced at Rs 21.3 lakhs is only in the petrol version. The good power of the 2000 cc petrol engine is nullified by the high fuel consumption of 10.9 kmpl. Volkswagen is known for its quality and finish of their products and the Beetle is not an exception.
VIPL has always been introducing new features in their latest versions. The Polo Facelift in diesel and the diesel Vento, which are expected to roll out in 2014, have used DSG automatic gear boxes.
Volkswagen India Private Limited has lined up a few more vehicles for the 2014 launch. The already revealed SUV Taigun will be launched in October 2014 and the costlier SUV Tiguan by the year end.
It does seem that the German automotive giant is planning a bigger footprint in the country.