From December 12, 2009 the new Pune plant has started rolling-out the hatchback version of the Volkswagen Polo.The made-in-India Polo was presented to the general public for the very first time at the Auto Expo 2010. The launch of this premium hatchback in March, brought access to one of the Indian passenger car segments with the highest-volume unit sales.
Skoda entered the Indian market in 2001. Its plant in Aurangabad, which assembles a total of eight models including the Audi A6 and Audi A4 as well as the Volkswagen Passat and Volkswagen Jetta, has been instrumental in this achievement. For Indian customers, the name of Skoda stands for high-quality, robust yet affordable cars in the compact, lower mid-size and mid-size ranges. In terms of models, the Skoda product offering in India ranges from the Fabia through the Octavia, the Laura to the Superb. Skoda lifted the veil off its international bestseller SUV Yeti for the first time in India at the Auto Expo 2010.
Audi offers high-end models of interest to Indian customers. With the A8 and the Q7, the A6, the A4 and not forgetting the R8, the TT and the recently introduced Q5, Audi offers top-quality, technically brilliant cars with an exclusive flair in the relevant luxury segments. Audi’s positioning as a leading manufacturer of such high-class vehicles, both assembled in India and imported through Audi India, will be systematically pursued in future. At Auto Expo 2010, Audi also unveiled the Audi Sportback Concept – a five-door model offering a glimpse into Audi's future design vocabulary.
Recognizing the importance of an extensive dealer network towards scripting a long-term success story, the brands of the Volkswagen Group are setting up dealerships spanning the entire country with Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi having in total around 120 dealerships across the country today. They are not only laying the foundation for a substantial increase in sales but also doing the groundwork for offering a first-class all-round service, taking customer satisfaction to the highest level. Keeping this in mind they launched their first Group Logistics Service facility recently that would help make their dealer network become more efficient and smoothen the entire process of service. In the period between January 2009 and December 2009, the three brands of the Volkswagen Group have together sold around 19,000 vehicles in India, an increase of 1.4% over 2008 in a year marked by recession in the auto industry.
A crucial element of the Volkswagen’s strategy is to establish a long-term presence in India is the Group’s production facility near Pune in the Chakan Industrial Park. The investment with a total sum of around INR 3,800 crore (580 million Euros) is the biggest investment of a German company realized in India so far. The plant, one of the most modern in the Volkswagen Group has a high level of vertical integration – not least attributable to the high share of local suppliers. The recruitment is of some 2,500 employees at the end of 2010, primarily from the region itself. With the investment, the vertical integration of suppliers and the employment of people Volkswagen will thus demonstrate its commitment to the new site. Simultaneously Volkswagen contributes to a positive development of the economy of the region and of Maharashtra at the same time.
The new plant was inaugurated by The Honourable Governor of Maharashtra, His Excellency Shri. S. C. Jamir, and Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft with responsibility for ‘Group Production’ end of March 2009 and has begun building the Skoda Fabia compact car in May 2009. The launch of Polo, the hatchback car, is a visible testimony to Volkswagen’s vision of “Mobility - Made in India”. By mid of 2010 the hatchback version will be followed by a sedan, also based on the new generation of the Polo but entirely different to the hatch.
In recognition of its efforts in India, Volkswagen India won the coveted ‘Automotive Company of the Year 2010’ award at the Inaugural Golden Steering Wheel Awards India presented by the leading automotive magazine, Auto Bild India.