This is not the first time Volkswagen has put hatchback project on hold as they have explored plans for hatchback three times in India
Volume is a big problem for VW Group in India as both Volkswagen and Skoda are not able to crack Indian market yet. The new MQB platform which Volkswagen and Skoda using in International market is expensive to be locally manufactured which forced the company to delay launch of new generation Polo and other important models for our market.
The German manufacturer new strategy for our market which is “India 2.0” is lead by Skoda Auto India as they have already proposed a plan of 6 new products under the new platform based on the MQB modular platform for emerging markets with India as main focus. The six products include hatchback, sedan and compact for both Volkswagen and Skoda.
But according to a new report on ET, the company is not focusing on hatchback as it is already crowded with lots of players and instead they want to explore segments which can make deeper inroads in India and still make profit from these models for Volkswagen and Skoda. The new proposal includes 2 sedan and SUVs for Volkswagen and Skoda.
One of the executives said that the company is not throwing out small cars but the priority is very low on these models. VW groups feel that compact SUV and sedan could be more beneficial as the group may reconsider its plans for hatchback only after 2022 which is very long and we might not get the new generation Polo in India which is sad considering that the brand had lots of fan following in India.
This is not the first time Volkswagen has put hatchback project on hold as they have explored plans for hatchback three times in India. But on the other side we might get excellent crossover and sedan models from VW and Skoda. If they had gone with the original plan of six products, the annual volume expected was 3,50,000 units including export models.
But with the new plan of 4 models, the expected volume is 1,80,000 units with one-third of the production is allocated for export model. Earlier VW was planning to invest 1 Billion Euros in India for 6 products and with the new plan of four products, the expected investment will be significantly lower and a final decision on this is expected to be taken by the middle of 2018 by VW board.