Volkswagen India's plant in Chakan, Pune has rolled out its millionth car, 10 years after operations began. The 1 millionth model, the Volkswagen Ameo, was rolled off the assembly line in the presence of Gurpratap Boparai, managing director, Volkswagen India; Steffen Knapp, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India, the top management of Volkswagen Pune Plant and some of the oldest employees who have been part of the production department since a decade at Volkswagen Pune Plant.
The manufacturing facility became operational on March 31, 2009 – the first car that it produced was the Skoda Fabia. Three more models – the Volkswagen Polo, Vento and Skoda Rapid – soon started rolling off the production site by end of 2010. The plant, which was initially set up to cater to the Indian market, also began exporting cars to international markets such as South Africa in 2012.
Mexico went on to become one of the most important destinations for the made-in- India cars and the Vento quickly became the highest-selling Volkswagen in that market. Today, more than 4,00,000 cars manufactured at the Volkswagen Pune Plant have been exported to over 50 countries in Asia, Africa, North America and South America.
India 2.0 project to drive future growth
As we had reported earlier, the Volkswagen Group is looking to strengthen its commitment to the domestic market through its regional India 2.0 project. The focus of this project is to develop more cars that are relevant to the requirements of the Indian market on a platform that has been localised. The Volkswagen Group is investing a billion Euro (about Rs 8,000 crore) in this project and has already set up a Technology Centre at the Pune Plant for local development to begin. The brand is laying the foundation for development of products based on a heavily localised MQB-A0-IN platform tailored to the needs of customers in India.
Earlier this month, the Volkswagen Group announced its intent to merge its three Indian subsidiaries – Volkswagen India, Volkswagen Group Sales India and Skoda India. The Volkswagen Group brands – Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini – will maintain their individual identities, dealer network and customer experience initiatives. The brands will work under the leadership of Gurpratap Boparai with a common strategy for the Indian market.
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