Back at the start of the previous decade, Volkswagen made its debut in India with the Polo. It was a time when no one believed that an expensive hatchback could never work. And well, we all know how it turned out.
Volkswagen rocked the automotive segment with the Polo. It opened up a new segment for premium hatchbacks that brought us the slew of i20s and Balenos. The fact that the people’s car maker of the world was finally selling cars in India. Back then, owning a German car would be really expensive since only BMW, Mercedes and Audi were the options. Things changed in 2010 when you could take home a trial of German engineering at under Rs. 8 lacs.
But, Volkswagen didn’t really manage to break any other segments apart from the Vento and the Polo. Moreover, VW has stayed out of the compact crossovers all together in India which is a very hot segment today. In fact, VW didn’t even launch the new gen Polo in India because of the car’s dimensions being longer than 4 meters. Although, we have learned now that this is all about to change.
VW has its MQB A0 platform for the small hatchbacks and crossovers. But, VW has been working with Skoda to modify it to an MQB A0 IN platform for India’s sub 4 meter regulations. And now we have learnt that Volkswagen will unveil its biggest SUV offensiveness for India at the upcoming Auto Expo 2020. VW India has revealed in a press release that four new SUVs in 2020-21 will be released from Brand Volkswagen along with the world premiere of the Volkswagen A0 SUV. The company will also showcase it’s “world renowned electric vehicle” based on the state-of-the-art MEB platform at the Auto Expo 2020.
“Owing to ever increasing consumer preferences for the SUVs, the Volkswagen brand plans to heavily focus on introducing its global line-up of SUV portfolio for the Indian market. Keeping Volkswagen brand’s core USP of build quality, safety and fun to drive element each of these carlines will democratize the market in their respective segments” it said in the statement.
Speaking on the announcement, Mr. Steffen Knapp, Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India, said, “We understand the rapidly changing preferences of our Indian consumers and in-line to the same, we will introduce one of our biggest SUV offensive portfolio for the Indian shores. Always keeping safety at the forefront, the upcoming car lines will re-define their respective segments, addressing the needs of our discerning Indian consumers. In India, we received tremendous response for our current SUV Volkswagen Tiguan and with our planned portfolio we expect to define it further.” Starting this February, India will witness the first showcase of it’s electric vehicle based on the MEB platform along with the world premiere of the A0 SUV from Brand Volkswagen under Group’s India 2.0 project.
What this translates into, for us gear heads, is that we can expect the T-Roc, T-Cross SUV’s launching for India and some extensive competition to the Venue, Nexon and the likes. Moreover, its a VW and hence, the fun to drive element which was almost missing from this segment, will be a tough challenge for other brands.