Volkswagen entered India through the top-down approach, by first launching high end, brand builder cars. These brand builders established Volkswagen as a premium brand in India, although the after sales experience continues to remain less than premium. Once Volkswagen gained a foothold in India, mass market cars such as the Polo and the Vento were launched.
During Volkswagen India’s brand building days, the German car maker used to sell the iconic Beetle hatchback, which has since been withdrawn from the Indian car market. In Volkswagen’s Version 2.0 of the India plan, the German car maker plans to yet again take a brand building approach with three new cars being considered. The cars in question are the Golf, the Scirocco and the Beetle.
Golf MK VII
A motoring icon for Volkswagen, and the world, the Golf hatchback is the planet’s third largest selling car. No, the Golf isn’t a low cost car such as the Nano, but a premium hatchback that offers a slew of exciting features and performance to match. The Golf plays many roles in the European market, from a family hatchback to a high performance hot hatch. In its seventh generation, the latest Golf was introduced last year and is based on the MQB platform.
For India, Volkswagen could import the Golf as a CBU. The car is expected to be feature turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines, with a price tag pegged close to the 20 lakh rupees mark. The Golf will be Volkswagen’s answer to the likes of the Mercedes Benz A-Class and the BMW 1-Series although the VW badge doesn’t have the same ring to it as say a Mercedes or a BMW.
Another sporty hatchback from Volkswagen, the Scirocco has been around for four decades. In its third generation version, the 2014 Scirocco is based on the A5 (PQ35) platform that it shares with the previous generation Golf. The Scirocco sold in Europe gets a range of turbo petrol and turbo diesel engine options, with capacities ranging between 1.4 liters-2.0 liters, and power and torque outputs ranging between 120-161 Bhp and 200 Nm-350 Nm respectively.
Manufacturing the Scirocco in India makes no sense currently, given the low demand for high performance hatchbacks here. Therefore, like other premium Volkswagen cars, the CBU route is very likely for the Scirocco as well, if and when VW decides to bring the car to India. The next generation Scirocco is due in 2017, with the car being hosted on the MQB platform.
The Beetle is another best selling car of the world – which now does duty as a brand builder – and an automobile icon in the Volkswagen portfolio. In its second coming into India, the Beetle is expected to continue taking the CBU route, with one crucial change. Instead of using a turbo petrol engine, the new Beetle for India is expected to use a 2 liter-4 cylinder TDI turbo diesel motor with a 138 Bhp-320 Nm output.
A 6 speed dual clutch DSG automatic gearbox is expected to drive the front wheels of the car. The Scirocco and the Beetle share the PQ35/A5 platform. In India, the A5 Volkswagen Beetle is expected to be positioned against the Mini range of hatchbacks, in terms of pricing. One of the more feminine cars in the world, the Beetle is expected to be a big draw amid the fairer sex.