It’s just been over 18 months, since Volkswagen began production at their Chakan facility in Maharashtra, and the facility just rolled out the 100,000th car yesterday. Volkswagen manufactures variants of their Polo, Vento and Skoda Fabia from this facility.
Volkswagen India’s MD and President, Dr. John Chacko, said that was a significant milestone for the company, and it market completion of their first development phase in India. Their next phase will be about checking the viability for new launches.
In 2010, Volkswagen India had managed to sell about 53,341 models in this market, whereas they sold about 55,257 models in the first half of 2011 itself. Dr. Chacko, added that they have on board 115 suppliers, that includes 66 suppliers in Maharashtra, while 61 suppliers handle export components. He also added that they had increased localisation levels in their cars to 70% from the earlier 40%.
They are also planning to strengthen their network of dealerships to more than 160, and are striving to increase their market share, which currently stands at 5%. He said that their average market share in global markets is about 10%, and he doesn’t see, why it cannot be 10% in this market as well.
With utilisation of the entire installed production capacity of about 1,30,000 models, at their Chakan facility in the offing, it was logical for them to consider expanding their production capacity and also setting up their powertrain facility. He, however, added that there were some obstacles in taking this step, referring to the MVAT amendment that took place in March. They believe that the government has not kept their commitment, explaining that it resulted in an unsteady environment, and they were adopting a wait and watch strategy.