So many automakers have figured out their growth in year 2014 and now it’s Volkswagen India which has come up with its concluded business growth for the previous year. The German car maker has managed to record a total production of 111,444 cars in 2014, which is a highest score so far since the inception of its Chakan manufacturing facility in Pune. The manufacturing facility has achieved 11.4% growth in production in 2014 against the manufacturing counts of year 2013.
Though all the cars in VW’s portfolio added more or less to this victory, but it was the facelifted Vento sedan which proved to be the greatest among the line-up. With 67,010 units, Vento was at the top of the list in 2014 production, followed by Polo with 33,547 units and 10,887 units of Skoda Rapid. The first vehicle rolled out from this facility was Skoda Fabia in March 2009, Polo hatch in 2009, Vento in August 2010, Skoda Rapid in October 2011, production of left-hand drive cars in July 2012, while export started to Mexico in October 2013.
Speaking on the success of VW in India, Mr. Mahesh Kodumudi, President and Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Limited expressed his delight and mentioned that the growth achieved by the company was significantly backed by the mounting demand from its export markets. In fact every second vehicle produced at Chakan facility in 2014 was exported to Mexico market, he added. Export volumes grew by 308 per cent in 2014 against previous year 2013, contributing 59.8% to the total production. It is to be noted that Mexico is VW India’s largest importer, attracting highest export volumes share among 32 foreign markets.
Though, the currency fluctuations and domestic market was slow putting carmaker in trouble, the export activities helped greatly in dealing all the problems in previous year. He was overjoyed and further stated that Indian market is still the main focus of VW as it has immense possibilities to grow in coming time.
If we look at VW’s portfolio in India, we will get to know that the carmaker launched updated version of its Polo hatch, Vento and Skoda Rapid sedan in 2014. All the three cars were given the new 1.5-liter four-cylinder diesel engine, while the 1.2-liter three-cylinder TDI and 1.6-liter four-cylinder TDI were discontinued from the domestic market. Now, the company is gearing up to introduce VW Jetta facelift soon in the country. The sedan will get its power from Polo's 1.2- litre petrol engine, delivering 73.9bhp and 110Nm of torque. The car will also be available with diesel variant that will get under its hood a 1.2 litre diesel engine, churning out 73.9bhp and 180Nm of torque. With an aim to strengthen its foothold in sedan segment, VW is likely to launch Jetta sedan with a competitive price tag.
Talking on the matter, Mr. Andreas Lauenroth, Executive Director – Technical, Volkswagen India Private Limited said that VW didn’t compromise on the quality part and still achieved the highest production numbers. The high exports figures from VW Pune facility indeed shows that the carmaker is in line with the International production standard at Indian manufacturing unit. Counting the problems faced in year 2014, he mentioned that despite sluggish economy, company managed to launch updated version of Polo, Vento and Rapid with smooth ramp up. This is nothing but the dedication and high capabilities of VW workforce that made it possible flawlessly shifting from old versions to new ones.
Looking at the statistics, it seems Volkswagen cars in domestic market is drying up but the carmaker is intelligent enough to use India as an export hub.