In July 2018, the Volkswagen Group confirmed an investment of INR 7,900 crore (EUR 1 billion) for their ‘INDIA 2.0’ project. With a renewed focus on the Indian car market, these funds will be primarily used to develop Skoda Auto and Volkswagen vehicles for the Indian market. The first of these models will be a mid-size SUV in the A0 segment, which will be unveiled in 2020. 95% of the vehicle components for the localized MQB A0 platform will be manufactured locally. The vehicles developed in India will meet the same core standards for safety, quality and design that the Volkswagen Group represents worldwide. At the same time, both Skoda and Volkswagen will be showcasing models with their own typical characteristics on the market.
As a part of this new strategy, Skoda and Volkswagen Group India have inaugurated a new Technology Center in Pune, India. At the new Technology Center, 250 engineers will be developing vehicles tailored to the needs of customers in the subcontinent. Products developed under the INDIA 2.0 project will achieve up to 95% localisation. The opening ceremony was attended by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and other government officials. On behalf of the Volkswagen Group, Skoda is leading the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, which sets out the Volkswagen Group’s model campaign on the Indian market.
The Technology Center in Chakan (Pune), represents the first major step in implementing the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project. The Volkswagen Group and Skoda Auto are jointly investing around INR 2,000 crore in research and development projects in India. The Indian engineers will be responsible for project management, electronics, infotainment, body design, interior, chassis and complete vehicle development.
At the opening ceremony, Andrej Babiš, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, said: “I am delighted that Skoda Auto is expanding its presence and involvement in India with such significant investments and promising projects. The fact that Skoda is creating great opportunities for the high potential market here in India demonstrates the long-term strategy of the brand.”
Gurpratap Boparai, Head – Volkswagen Group India, emphasized his views. He said, “The Technology Center will lay the foundation for the development of products that are specially designed for the Indian market. We expect to roll out the first products, for both the Skoda as well Volkswagen brands, by 2020- 21; starting with a mid-sized SUV based on MQB A0 IN platform. A model campaign, led by Skoda, will follow. I am convinced that we can use all the strengths of Skoda to the great benefit of the entire Volkswagen Group.”