In the beginning of 2016, there were reports that Volkswagen will bring Up!, an entry-level hatchback, to India in order to strengthen the company's small car portfolio. Emerging reports indicate that Up! has been ruled out for India owing to high costs.
Volkswagen Up! has been designed and engineered for the European market and hence, launching it here will not make sense owing to high costs associated with the program, reports Autocar India. Instead, Polo will remain the most important entry-level product of Volkswagen. The German carmaker is reportedly working on to increase the local content on the next-gen Polo that will aid for a more competitive price tag.
Launched in 2016, the Ameo compact sedan gave a much-needed reboot to the small car sales of Volkswagen India. Riding on Ameo, Volkswagen sold 4,014 units of cars in November 2016, up 107 percent from 1,942 units sold in November 2015. The small car segment growth of Volkswagen will be on the back of Polo and Ameo for now.
In July, German publication Manager Magazin reported that the Volkswagen management has been negotiating a project with Tata Motors to restart its small car program. The budget car is reportedly for markets like China and India. It will be the most affordable VW not just in India, but around the world. The responsibility for the current project lies with brand chief Herbert Diess. Volkswagen has been considering coming up with a low cost brand for quite some time.
Volkswagen will launch other new models as per plans for India in 2017. It will re-launch the Passat sedan in India in early 2017. Apart from the petrol and diesel engines, the flagship sedan is also expected with a hybrid powertrain. The company will also launch Tiguan compact SUV in the second half of next year.