Volkswagen India To Focus On SUVs In The Future Says Top Boss
VW will not be bringing any brand new hatchbacks or sedans unless there’s compelling demand for the same
VW to focus on bringing more SUVs to India.
Expect more than a couple SUVs at the VW pavilion at the 2020 Auto Expo.
No new hatchbacks or sedans planned but existing ones will continue to be updated.
VW currently sells one hatchback and SUV and three sedans in India.
The rising popularity of SUVs in the Indian market has come at the cost of sedans and hatchbacks, sales of which have taken a beating over the last couple of months. Giving in to popular demand, Volkswagen’s Director of Passenger Cars India, Steffen Knapp, said, “We will transform Volkswagen into an SUV brand in India”.
Henceforth, every brand new vehicle that Volkswagen plans to launch in India will be SUVs. Earlier, the German carmaker confirmed that it will showcase a new MQB-A0-IN-based compact SUV at the Auto Expo 2020. This SUV could, in all likelihood, be the T-Cross, a rival to the Hyundai Creta. VW is also working on a Hyundai Venue-rival named the T-Sport, and we believe this could make it to our shores as well. What’s more, there will be a similar SUV from Skoda as well. While its too early to discuss product timelines, other SUVs that we can expect on display are the T-Roc and the Tiguan AllSpace, a seven-seat version of the Tiguan.
“We will continue to sell the existing cars here, will replace them from time to time, but the additional products that we plan to bring will only be SUVs. That’s because I see this trend of rising demand for SUVs in the local market here. I believe that the SUV is the car for India more than any other country in the world," Knapp added.
Currently, there are five other cars in VW’s portfolio, including the Polo, Ameo, Vento, Tiguan and Passat. The first three are locally manufactured whereas the last two are brought through the CKD (completely knocked down units) route.
“We are not going to look at the small cars or the B segment sedan type categories anymore unless there is a strong business case for them in the future," Knapp added. This basically puts the Vento’s successor, the Virtus, out of contention for an India launch. VW cars like the Polo and Vento have been on sale without any significant changes since 2009 and 2010, respectively. The Ameo sub-4m sedan has been soldering on without any facelift since 2016. So far, these VW cars have remained dependent on a steady dose of special and limited editions.