The Volkswagen group has been going through a restructuring phase in India. Efforts are being made to make the brand more India-specific and the first step was taken in July 2018, when the VW group confirmed investments of INR 8,000 crore (EUR 1 billion) for the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project. In January 2019, a Technology Center was opened in Pune, laying the foundation for the development of products based on the localised sub-compact MQB-A0-IN platform tailored to the needs of customers in the Indian subcontinent. In the second phase of the project, Volkswagen Group will be examining the possibility of exporting vehicles built in India.
Now, the German giant has announced its intent to merge its three Indian subsidiaries: Volkswagen India Private Ltd (VWIPL), Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Ltd (NSC) and ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd (SAIPL). The merger has been considered and approved by the Boards of the three companies in India and is now subject to the necessary regulatory and statutory approvals. The restructuring of the Volkswagen Group companies in India is an important milestone in the ŠKODA-led ‘INDIA 2.0’ project of the Volkswagen Group.
The proposed merger of the three companies will make more efficient use of the existing synergies in developing this important growth market. The Volkswagen Group brands: Volkswagen, ŠKODA, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini, will maintain their individual identities, dealer network and customer experience initiatives. However, the brands will work under the leadership of Mr Gurpratap Boparai, with a common strategy for the Indian market. The new strategy will bear fruit sometime next year when an all-new mid-size SUV will make its debut. 95% of the vehicle components for the localized MQB A0 platform will be manufactured locally. However, 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.
Commenting on this new development, Mr Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Ltd and SKODA AUTO India Private Ltd said, “India is an important and an attractive growth market for the Volkswagen Group. With the proposed merger, we intend to combine the technical and managerial expertise of the three companies to unlock the Volkswagen Group’s true potential in India’s competitive automotive market. The integration will lead to coordinated and faster decision making and increased efficiency using existing synergies.”