The latest small car from the stables of Volkswagen – the Up! – might not be launched, as it had been expected, at the Delhi Auto Expo scheduled in January 2012. The car had been recently seen on the Mumbai streets and was derived to be a part of the testing activities before its expected launch; however, this does not seem to be the case. If recent rumors can be trusted, Volkswagen has still not been able to finalize whether the vehicle can be placed in the Indian auto market, certainly a jolt to a lot of aspiring customers in India. This is because the auto major may be having difficulty in getting the Volkswagen Up! placed at a competitive pricing level for India. The company had reserved a margin of Rs.3 lacs to Rs.4 lacs for the vehicle in the Indian market, as had been indicted from the specific hints that Volkswagen had been providing throughout this period.
However, on taking a reality check, we find that this is far from materializing as far as the Volkswagen Up! is concerned, particularly in the perspective of the Indian auto market. This is quite contrary to the feeling that is being generated in the European market, where huge plans have been made for this small car. The Indian auto market has always been very receptive to small cars (particularly the hatchbacks in the sub-four meter segment). The price at which a car, from the premier Volkswagen brand, can be owned is further enhancing the appeal. This very demand that small cars have in India had initially triggered the thought process within Volkswagen to introduce the Up! in this country.
If recent trends are analyzed, it is found that the global brands like Hyundai and General Motors have been registering significant sales through their respective small cars, the Hyundai Eon and the Chevrolet Beat. A glorious example of success in this segment is displayed by the Maruti Alto, an offering from the premier car manufacturing company of India, Maruti Suzuki. Volkswagen Up! has been ideally designed to perform well in this segment, given its comfortable seating capacity of four passengers.
There is a total absence of clarity at this moment on whether Volkswagen is going to launch its Up! in India. However, it looks relatively certain that its new Beetle could be showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo by Volkswagen India.