| | Volkswagen To Directly Import Porsche Sportcars in 2012
Volkswagen AG, Europe's largest carmaker, will launch the iconic Porsche sports car marquee in India next year and appoint a new team to steer its sales in the overcrowded Indian automobile market.
Two people close to the development said Volkswagen will import the Porsche models 911, Cayman, Boxter, Panamere and Cayenne SUV for the Indian market and look at local assembly at one of its facilities in Maharashtra when volumes pick up.
An email query sent to Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen remained unanswered. The cars, to be distributed and sold under the Volkswagen banner in India from next year, carry price tags ranging from Rs 70 lakh to Rs 3 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The automaker has 5% market share in India and sells the Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda brands in the country. "Porsche cars would continue to be imported into India like the top-end Audi R8 or the Volkswagen Pheaton limousine and will not be assembled like the smaller models of VW Group, such as the Volkswagen Passat or Audi A4 or A6 sedans," a person familiar with the development said. "But there is a possibility that as and when volumes grow, the high-selling Cayenne will be produced locally as it will allow price rationalisation with lower tax under local assembly."
The tax on cars assembled in India is 10% while those on fully imported vehicles is 110%. Porsche is imported and sold in select Indian cities by Precision Cars India. After VW starts selling the sports car in India, Precision Cars will be replaced by Porsche India. However, top executives at Precision Cars said they were not aware of any such development.
Volkswagen will set up a new sales team in India for Porsche, which will work under Anil Reddi, the current head of sales at its subsidiary Audi India. Reddi will take up the post of managing director of Porsche India.
The automaker is likely to continue with the existing set of eight Porsche outlets in the country. Porsche India is likely to be structured like Audi India that has five main departments: marketing, sales, after sales, dealer development and press communications and would initially have a 15-18 member team to start operations by early 2012.