Volkswagen eyes SUV segment in India, lines up Tiguan – Economic Times
In its biggest product offensive in five years, the company is also bringing back sedan Passat this year to add to the newly launched performance-oriented hatchback GTI as it bids to position itself as a full range “accessible premium car brand” in India.
“Tiguan as our first premium SUV, comes into an area where we see more and more people investing into such cars. That will be the first step for us into that domain of SUVs,” Volkswagen Group Sales India, Director VW Passenger Cars, Michael Mayer told PTI here.
Stating that VW is looking to position itself “as an accessible premium car brand”, he said “this is a turf that we need to own. We need to be the ones and we see some manufacturers, competitors trying to get into that with lots of efforts”.
Mayer further said: “From a brand value perspective we are there. Now we need to start widening our product portfolio … We also need to go into SUVs also. We are heavily working on it. Whether it is in sub-4 metre compact segment or not, we will have to see.”
SUVs are becoming very popular in India, which is also a global trend, he said, adding, “that’s a clear point for us to start… Tiguan is the starting point and we will come down gradually”.
While declining to share details, Mayer said future products, including SUVs for India will have to align with the company’s global plans as the country is also being used as an export hub for other overseas markets.
On the company’s products plans for this year, he said: “For us as a brand, 2017 is a key milestone. We will extend the VW brand in 2017. We will become a full range manufacturer from Polo to Passat — from small hatchback to an executive sedan.”
With it, he said VW will be one of the few players in India that offered a range vehicles from the general standard to the premium end.
“Now we start building that upper end of the scale. These segments are smaller volumes, we are not aiming to push volumes there, but we think we can credibly get customers into the VW brands for the Passat as an executive sedan,” Mayer said.