| | Volkswagen & Maruti to make product platforms
Europe's top automaker plans to increase its investment in mani-fold , with an aim to sell one million cars by 2018. It will also develop common engines, transmissions and product platforms with Maruti to make cars for the Indian market. The group sold 19,000 units in 2009 across various brands - Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi.
We have a clear target. Any country where we produce cars, we want a share of 20%. We hope to reach this target in India by 2018, by when we expect the total market size to rise to five million units, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn told TOI.
VW Group's current investment in India is over Rs 4,500 crore and it has a production capacity of 1.5 lakh cars. Sales have been moving up rapidly after Volkswagen launched new cars, including the Polo compact and the Vento sedan.
The group sold 29,950 units between January and August this year, a growth of 160% over the 11,503 units sold in the same period last year. Both Volkswagen and Skoda plan to launch more models, including lowpriced small cars, to garner higher volumes. If the Indian market continues to grow in this manner, we have to increase investment substantially in line with our sales target, Winterkorn said.
But the biggest game changer for the group's India plans could be its near 20% stake in Suzuki. Volkswagen and Suzuki are actively discussing joint plans as partners and India is a key focus area. The partnership is clear in terms of engines, transmissions, hybrids , diesel engines and small cars, Winterkorn said. We are going forward, we want it to be successful for both the companies.