We are approaching the official launch of the Volkswagen Polo. Anticipation of the small car is building up to fever pitch.
Most of that breathless anticipation is thanks to India’s automobile enthusiasts who have a faint hope that the VW Polo which will make its appearance in India would be a hot hatch.
Alas, this is not going to be. The market for a powerful little car is extremely small in India. It does not make sense for the Volkswagen – or any other company for that matter – to introduce the European version of the VW Polo in India. Pretty much nobody would buy it. On the other hand, extremely value-for-money small cars, priced at a level may most people can buy it, offers excellent fuel efficiency- ah, there definitely is a market for that.
The Volkswagen Polo is preparing for its launch sometime towards the end of the current year, or during the Auto Expo 2010 which will happen in New Delhi in January 2010. There are reports that trial production of the Volkswagen Polo has already started.
A while back, we had reported that pre series production of the car had already started. There has been quite a bit of speculation about the engines and versions the Polo which would be launched in. While a sedan version of the Polo is quite likely, we do not think that on the day of the official launch, the sedan would available. It is more likely to follow a little bit later. In the same way, there are rumours that there would be to two petrol engines and a diesel engine on offer. We hope that safety features such as air bags, ABS would be on offer at least in the top end versions.
There were some media reports a few months back that Volkswagen wanted to ensure that the small car would be a success in India, and therefore they would ensure that the car is priced extremely low. News stories talked about prices as low as Rs 4.5 lakhs. That probably is a bit too low, but between the three versions and engine options, a price range of Rs 5 7 lakhs is likely. That should be good enough to take the battle right into the camps of Maruti Suzuki Swift, Ritz, Hyundai i20, Fiat Punto et al.