Volkswagen said it aims to capture as much as 10 percent of India’s car market in four to six years as it boosts sales in emerging-markets.
The Wolfsburg, Germany-based company will sell cars under three brands, including Skoda AS and Audi AG, to achieve its targets, it said in a statement in Chakan, near Pune, in western India. Production of its Polo compact car began today at the plant, which opened earlier this year. Volkswagen will start selling the cars in March, challenging partner Suzuki Motor Corp., the maker of half of all cars sold in India.
“The Pune plant is a key element in Volkswagen’s strategy for India,” said Jochem Heizman, a member of the company’s management board. India’s car market holds “enormous potential” for the German carmaker, he said.
Introducing the Polo is Volkswagen’s biggest push to boost sales in India, Asia’s fourth-largest automotive market. Already the largest overseas carmaker in China, the company is boosting its presence in India after auto sales in the world’s two most populous nations withstood the global recession. Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. are also planning to sell small cars in the country, where a surge in vehicle demand has bucked a global recession.