Volkswagen betting big on emerging markets like India, China & Brazil with new architecture

MUMBAI: Volkswagen, the German automobile giant that overtook Toyota Motor as the largest car maker globally in the first half of 2015, is betting big on emerging markets, including India, China and Brazil, with a new vehicle architecture.

The company plans to develop a hybrid version or a mix of its much touted $70-billion MQB architecture and the PQ platform, which is widely used in emerging markets, four people with knowledge of the plans said.

The new platform is internally called 'Emerging Market MQB A0'. The goal is to churn out as many cars as possible for the entire VW Group — such as Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi and Skoda — in the shortest possible time to take on competition actively, without major investment subsequently.

The first model on the MQB A0 is likely to be the Vento NF - or Nach Folger, which means successor in German - planned for 2018-19, the people said. Eventually, all the models sold in India (Polo, Vento, Fabia, Rapid and a few utility vehicles) would move to this modern architecture, giving the company flexibility.
The official spokesperson of Volkswagen India said the company "cannot comment on the future and upcoming plans and products right now."

Other auto giants are also trying to strengthen their emerging market lineup. Recently, General Motors announced a $5-billion emerging market product plan.

Toyota is considering the possibilities for its new generation TNGA architecture in India. While India may be small in terms of volume for VW globally, it is expected to play a much bigger role in the future. At the group, a confidential internal report of a dozen markets and the company's performance is circulated among key executives every quarter. These markets include India.

Several people with knowledge of the matter said the company is yet to recover the investment on its existing platform, and bringing the modular MQB platform would have called for a massive investment in India. So, the ideal solution is to look at a mix of both, even as it uses exports to recover investment in India.

Its sales in India have grown by 19% in the first seven months of this year. Exports, too, have grown in line, making up for over 55-60% of company's production.

After having produced 1 lakh units in India in 2014, the company is targeting 1.25 lakh vehicles this year, company sources said. The plan is to take production to 1.5 lakh in 2016, with a new Indian compact sedan hitting the market in the festival season of next year to bridge the product action plan before the MQB cars get produced.

Its manufacturing line at Chakan in Maharashtra is expected to be expanded to accommodate the new car.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

All * fields are Mandatory.

*Name :
*E-mail :
*Website :
*Comments :
Please Enter Text Shown :


Autoexpo Africa