Volkswagen has confirmed that work on its two most important projects for India, a sub four meter sedan and a compact SUV is well underway and likely to be in the showrooms in within the next two years. Autocar India has been tracking both these projects, which are aimed at two of the biggest and fastest growing segments in the country.
The design of the sub four meter sedan is close to being frozen after a struggle to get the right styling and proportions. VW now seem to be happy with the look of the car, which in essence will the Polo with a truncated boot. Because of the length limitation, VW’s compact sedan will come with the Polo’s 2456mm wheelbase and not the Vento’s which is 96mm longer. “The sub 4- metre segment is a big segment and important for our dealer base. We are developing a Polo as a sub 4-metre concept, the design is ready and it looks pretty good” says VW board member Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser.
According to company sources, the Polo sedan will be positioned at the top of the compact sedan segment and is hence likely to be priced a notch above the Amaze. VW say that they are fast tracking the development of this car and are chopping normal lead times by half to get the car to the market soon. It can be expected in our market by the end of 2015.
VW has also identified compact SUVs as a high growth segment. “The compact SUV segment is the one that will rise for sure in the future and we are looking at it” says Neusser.
However, unlike the Taigun concept shown at the Auto Expo 2014, the VW compact SUV may not be under four meters long. More duster size than EcoSport, this will be one of many VW SUVs to finally make it to our market. Volkswagen however is currently debating between building it on the Polo platform or on the new and more expensive modular Golf platform, also known as the MQB. According to Neusser "Indian customers want a feature and technology rich car and this is the challenge", However, VW has a tough choice to make. "Do we spend a lot and retrofit this stuff to the cheaper old platform or go directly for the more expensive new one?" says Neusser.
VW is planning to delight Indian car buyers with tech like Mirror link for your phone and Apple's Car Play on this new SUV. "The global demand for these type of features is huge." Says Neusser. The SUV for India will also need deep localization according to the VW top brass so that it can compete on equal terms with SUVs in this class. Exciting times ahead, especially since Volkswagen now knows the mind of the Indian car buyer a bit better.
Volkswagen to widen Indian model range