A dialog with Ashish Gupta, Model Director, Volkswagen India
Volkswagen, together with its sister model Skoda, began its second innings within the Indian market with the brand new India-specific MQB A0 IN structure that was showcased at Auto Expo 2020. This platform was designed to underpin the model’s new regionally developed fashions just like the Taigun crossover and the Virtus sedan.
We just lately had the chance to work together with Volkswagen India’s Model Director, Ashish Gupta, and had been in a position to acquire some insights in regards to the firm’s India 2.0 programme, the tip of its iconic Polo within the nation, future fashions, the corporate’s EV (electrical automobile) plans, and extra.
Reception for India 2.0 & future fashions
The bold India 2.0 programme has yielded constructive outcomes because the German model has been in a position to promote a complete quantity of 21,588 models within the first half of 2022. As compared, VW was in a position to dispatch solely 10,843 models throughout the identical interval final 12 months, a YoY development of 100%.
On being questioned in regards to the growth of the lineup, Ashish conceded that India 2.0 mission was all the time about bringing two new merchandise within the type of Taigun and Virtus. Nonetheless, he pressured that MQB A0 IN is a modular platform and may accommodate varied wheelbases and physique types, subsequently, VW will proceed to discover extra choices within the close to future.
The Volkswagen Taigun and Virtus
Having stated that any future fashions within the VW lineup must make a enterprise case for the model. Gupta stated, “Any product which is launched out there needs to be worthwhile for the producer, in any other case there isn’t any purpose to be in that section if it’s not worthwhile.”
Hole within the hatchback house
It was an emotional second for a lot of auto fans in India when VW determined to tug the plug on Polo this 12 months. The long-lasting hatchback turned a runaway success when it was launched within the nation in 2010. Though the automobile maintained its old-school attraction all through its tenure, it had began to really feel dated in the direction of the tip of its cycle because it was supplied minimal updates.
The Final Volkswagen Polo – Legend Version
When requested if VW is planning to return to the hatchback house anytime quickly, Ashish stated that the model isn’t seeking to return to this house not less than for the subsequent two years. The international-spec Polo received’t be coming to India as that automobile wouldn’t fulfill the sub-4 meter tax advantages right here.
With cleaner emissions in focus for the previous couple of years, electrical autos (EVs) have turn out to be the taking level for the worldwide auto business. VW has beforehand outlined plans to speculate roughly 40 billion euros within the growth of EVs.
Ashish affirmed that the transition to cleaner emissions will occur at totally different speeds throughout totally different components of the world. Whereas electrification is the subsequent large factor within the automotive world, he was fast to level out the realities of the Indian market.
He was quoted as saying, “EVs constituted 0.5% of the Indian market final 12 months, however the good factor is that it continues to double yearly. We foresee that by 2025-26 this determine can be 5-8%. That is the inflection level the place mass electrification of autos might happen in India. Therefore, we’re growing plans in step with that.”
Revision in security norms
Security has been an Achilles heel for the Indian automobile marketplace for many years. In response to a current mandate from the Ministry of Highway and Transport, all automobiles with capacities of as much as eight folks should characteristic not less than six airbags as normal from October 2022. This mandate has been opposed by just a few automobile manufacturers as a rise within the variety of airbags will push the price of a automobile fairly excessive which can adversely affect the small automobile section.
On this regard, Ashish stated, “I’m proud to say that VW has all the time taken the management in security. We had been the primary ones to make two airbags as normal in Polo. We’re identified for making secure automobiles world over which is our basic DNA. That’s why you’ll not see us talking an excessive amount of about security as a result of that may be a given for us and never a compromise.”
He additional affirmed that the federal government’s initiative is in the best path. On the similar time, he identified that enhancement in security should not be restricted to the variety of airbags however the total enchancment in design and structural integrity of the automobile.