Volkswagen seeks predictable policy environment in India

German auto major Volkswagen on Monday pitched for predictable legislations in India to help automobile companies plan better regarding new product launches.

Volkswagen launched Taigun SUV for India at the first Skoda Volkswagen India Media Night event
Volkswagen launched Taigun SUV for India at the first Skoda Volkswagen India Media Night event

The group, which is in the process of putting in EUR 1 billion investment in the country, said the clarity in terms of policies would help the company adapt and bring in products at right time.

"Together with Volkswagen we are investing one billion euros which clearly shows we together mean business. With such a high investment I have to say the fundamental thing for us is predictability," Skoda Auto Chairman of the Board of management Bernhard Maier told reporters here.

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New legislationsshould provide sufficient lead times not only for Volkswagen or Skoda but for the entire industry to really be able to adapt and offer customers the right products at right time, he added.

He also sought clarity in terms of policies for electric mobility space as well.

"It is a global topic which is also true for the Indian market. It is important when we bring these new technologies to the market then the necessary requisites and acceptability among customers is in place," Maier said.

Referring to India's move to leapfrog to BS 6 from BS 4 in a short span of time, Maier said, "If you get some new regulations with a lead time of only two years it is really hard to cope with that. This puts the entire industry under pressure."

On electric mobility also, he said there is a need for a clear road map."As far as we know there is no clear plan on how to build clear infrastructure for EVs and before customers can judge the car whenever it is needed, it doesn't make sense to (bring EVs to market)," he said.

Maier, however, hastened to add, "But we are ready when you are."

He said Volkswagen and Skoda were together aiming for 5 per cent market share in the Indian market depending upon market.

"For Skoda, India would thus become one of the five larger markets in the world," he added.

India is a still a tender shoot for the company, Maier said.

"We do have plans for the market..we have seen some volatility in the market in the past few years here but the overall long term picture remains positive," he noted.

The group showcased Skoda's Vision In concept and also unveiled Volkswagen's production ready compact compact SUV which has been christened as Taigun.

"The first showcase of the India 2.0 concepts offer a glimpse into the exciting range that is in preparation for our customers in India," Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Managing Director Gurpratap Boparai said.

The company is aiming to reach 95 per cent localisation in the new range, he added.

Expressing faith in the long term growth prospects of the Indian market, Maier said that the automobile market in the country is expected to grow with around 1 trillion euro investment lined up for various infrastructure projects.

Also, the population of the country is expected to grow to 1.6 billion by 2050, with large young population at the fore,making it one of the largest auto markets globally, he added.

Speaking at the first ever Volkswagen group night in India, group company entities listed out their specific strategies for the Indian market.

The German automobile group Volkswagen in 2018 had decided to reorganise its India operations giving Czech firm Skoda the responsibility to take the lead.

First Published Date: 04 Feb 2020, 10:52 AM IST
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