When German car maker Volkswagen started operations in India, they were quick to corner a 3% market share within a short span of time. However, things took a downhill turn post that and currently, to better utilise capacity, VW has started exporting cars from India. At the Volkswagen headquarters, India is increasingly featuring in discussions as the management works on strategies to become the world’s largest car maker by overtaking Toyota and GM. They feel VW’s tenure in India so far has been a learning experience and bringing in some new ideas within the next 3-4 years will be decisive for one of the youngest brands in our country.
According to Michael Mayer, the new director of Volkswagen passenger cars India. The German carmaker is planning for a second wave of expansion, which includes revamping its existing portfolio with major face-lifts for the Polo and the Vento. The plan also includes launching a product in the sub-compact sedan and the compact SUV segment. The portfolio will also include their premium offerings like the Beetle, the Passat, the Jetta and the Tiguan.
“The let’s wait strategy will not help. And that’s when our leadership said, we can’t wait until the market turns around and takes off again. We need to rethink and readjust our direction and plan a second step of expansion,” Mayer said.
“The planning for the second step is just starting now and the good thing is now we have something substantial, which is existing: we have a factory, we have a good supplier base, dealer network, brand here.”
The Indian market is different from the rest, he acknowledged. Maruti Suzuki has a dominant position in India. “It will not be easy for anybody to conquer that position,” Mayer says.