Snapshot – Volkswagen is half a decade old in India (not considering Brand Skoda) and the German automaker is yet to big mark in the country. The automaker is currently in a consolidation phase and with an eye on the future, is working on increasing localization levels of its cars to a high 90 %. A higher localization is expected to result in more competitively priced cars and also lower long term ownership costs. A well priced product that costs less to maintain over an extended period of time has the potential for big sales in a extremely cost conscious market such as India. While these measures have already begun rolling, the German car giant has revealed plans of launching a slew of new facelifts and products to boost its market share in India. Here’s the lowdown.
The facelifted Volkswagen Polo is due in July 2014. The B+ segment hatchback will get a minor stylistic facelift, along with slight refresh on the interiors. A major change in the car will be the addition of a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder TDI turbo diesel engine, which will replace the 1.6 liter TDI motor. The 1.5 liter TDI motor that is said to be as powerful as the 1.6 liter TDI motor is an engine developed specifically for the Indian market. Designed to fit within Indian small car excise duty norms, the facelifted Polo hatchback’s 1.5 liter TDI engine will make the car’s top end variant cheaper by about 50,000 rupees. The lower price tag will also give Volkswagen India the flexibility to add a DSG dual clutch gearbox to the Polo Diesel 1.5 TDI.
Sometime later this year, close to the festive season, Volkswagen India is likely to refresh the Vento sedan with the new 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel engine. Along with the new diesel engine, a DSG dual clutch automatic gearbox is expected to added, making the Vento the first dual clutch automatic gearbox equipped diesel powered car in the Indian C-Segment sedan space. The car will see a more comprehensive facelift next year.
8th Generation Volkswagen Passat
Later this year, the Volkswagen Passat luxury sedan will enter its 8th generation. The car has been teased by Volkswagen through sketches released on the interweb. Also, a slew of details about the car have been revealed, giving us a broad picture on what to expect from the next-generation Passat. The 2015 Passat will make it to Indian shores early next year. The luxury sedan will come with a slew of new features and more powerful engine options. In India, expect the car to be offered with a turbo diesel engine, with the petrol engines skipped due to poor demand for petrol powered cars in the luxury segment. Click here for all you need to know about the 2015 Passat.
A major facelift for the Vento C-Segment sedan will come in 2015, with Volkswagen planning to give the front end of the car a complete revamp. Apart from the stylistic changes, the car is expected to gain new features considering the increased competition in the C-Segment sedan space in India. The Vento Facelift will be available in petrol automatic and diesel automatic options. The petrol engined model is likely to continue with the naturally aspirated 1.6 liter MPI and turbocharged 1.2 liter TSI motors while the diesel engined model will feature the newly introduced 1.5 liter turbocharged TDI motor.
New Beetle under consideration
Volkswagen India is considering the launch of the new Beetle in India. If introduced in India, the iconic car will be sold as a brand builder. Notably, Volkswagen used to sell the previous generation version of the Beetle in India. The car will be imported as a completely built unit given the low volumes it is likely to garner. Expect a price tag well north of the 20 lakh rupee mark. The new Beetle comes with TSI turbo petrol and TDI turbo diesel engine options. The 2 liter TDI turbo diesel motor (140 Bhp-320 Nm) is expected to be offered in the Indian market, with a 6 speed dual clutch DSG gearbox in tow.
Tiguan Compact SUV under consideration
Apart from the new Beetle, another car under consideration for India is the Tiguan 5 seat SUV. The Tiguan, if launched in India, will be positioned alongside the Skoda Yeti, with which the SUV shares its underpinnings. Expect a 2 liter TDI turbo diesel engine (140 Bhp-320 Nm) that is offered on the Yeti, to be offered on the Tiguan as well. If Volkswagen decides to sell the Tiguan in India, the CKD assembly route is likely to be adopted as the SUV in CBU guise will be too expensive for its own good.
Vento based Polo Stuffe compact sedan
Volkswagen India will introduce an India-specific 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel engine later this year. Two years from now, this step will be taken to the next level with the launch of a compact sedan based on the Polo/Vento. Dubbed the Polo Stuffe, the sub-4 meter sedan will be pitted against the Dzire-Amaze-Xcent bandwagon. Expect turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines on the Polo Stuffe compact sedan. The car will be priced in between the Polo hatchback and the Vento sedan when it goes on sale in 2016.
Sub-4 Meter Compact SUV
The sub-4 meter compact SUV is one product that Volkswagen India has been talking about for quite a while. The compact SUV is likely to be based on the Taigun platform (A0). Volkswagen is likely to stretch the wheelbase of the Taigun to suit the Indian car market’s needs. Petrol and diesel engines will be offered on the new compact SUV from Volkswagen, whose rivals are expected to be the Mahindra S102 and the Ford EcoSport. Apart from these initial details, not much is known about the Volkswagen compact SUV for India, which is currently on the drawing board.