Volkswagen Plans To Improve Product Range With New Cars After Low Sales
The next-gen Beetle to come India in H2 2015 and Tiguan compact SUV to follow.
Volkswagen India had very hard time initially when it entered the market in 2007 with poor sales and reach, until it came with superlative advertising and marketing strategies in 2009-2010. Again the sales stumbled after peak years, and now the company is forced to work out new strategies to fix poor sales since last two-three years.
Among a host of new initiatives like dealer engagement, enhancing after-sales services, etc., the company plans to introduce new models for the Indian market to fix its biggest criticism of having a thin and dated range of products, which is often attributed to its weak performance.
The new products in the pipeline are the new Beetle, the Tiguan, the Passat (B8 internal designation), and a compact sedan based on Polo platform. The new Beetle is expected in the second half of this year. The redesigned bug with a pair of powerful TSI engines will compete with Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 Abarth. The bug was sold in India earlier and it was even showcased at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo, after which VW totally forgot about the Beetle for India. The Passat is slated for launch in February 2016, according to Autocar India.
The most important launch from VW would be the second-generation compact crossover Tiguan, which is based on the global MQB platform that the company plans to use for more products by 2018. The gossip around the industry is that the new Euro-spec Tiguan will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September. This five-seater crossover is likely to get 3- and 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines with improved fuel efficiency and high output.
It is also to be noted that a longer wheelbase version of Tiguan with third row seats is also worked on for some select markets. We are still not sure which Tiguan (5-seater or stretched version) will make it to India. Once launched, it will fight with the Skoda Yeti. To refresh its existing fleet, VW India recently launched the face-lifted Polo, Vento, and the Jetta sedan. The company’s newly appointed director Michael Mayer considers 2015 as a year of consolidation and growth. The company also wants to erase its “cost-brand” appeal, since it moves away entry-level buyers who are usually scared of higher service and spare costs.
H/T to Economic Times.
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