Saturday, 31 March 2018

VW to approach each mkt in India differently: Knapp

Steffen Knapp, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars

30/3/2018

PUNE: German carmaker Volkswagen would pursue a multi-pronged strategy, including one to approach each market in India differently, as it sets out to consolidate operations, double market share in five years and increase its manufacturing capacity.

“We want to enlarge our footprint,” said Steffen Knapp, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, pointing out that the manufacturing facility in Chakan, near Pune, came close to utilising the capacity of 1.55 lakh units last year. With a target to grow the market share from the existing 1.6% to 3% in five years, discussions had been initiated with Skoda, the group lead company for the country, on the expansion.

Though he did not put a time frame or disclose the likely investment, Knapp in a media interaction, sought to underscore the growth potential India offered and thus, the need to grow capacities as well as increase localisation. The plan is to take localisation from about 82% now to more than 90% in next five years, a move that is bound to bring cost benefits and improve competitiveness.

The firm, whose exports in 2017 from the Pune plant comprised 40% of the production, plans to increase domestic sales from 47,500 to about 1.30 lakh units in the next 4-5 years. It proposed to achieve this by approaching each market differently depending on consumer preference and focusing on growing the corporate business.

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