Volkswagen has finally started talking about its plans to launch a sub-4 metre SUV and the next-gen Polo in India. The latter will likely be the global version with length trimmed to circumvent India’s ludicrous tax norms.
Speaking to The Economic Times recently, Steffen Knapp, Director, Volkswagen (India), said: “If you come to India (and) want to be successful in hatchbacks, you have to be sub-4 metre.” He called the Polo the “backbone” of the brand in our market.
Knapp also said that Volkswagen is considering a sub-4 metre SUV and more models based on the India-specific MQB A0 IN platform. One of the other models is an all-new Polo. While the world moved to the sixth-gen Polo in June 2017, India is still stuck with the fifth-gen Polo that was unveiled back in March 2009.
The problem with bringing the Mk6 VW Polo to India initially was that it is based on the MQB A0 platform and that it is longer than 4,000 mm in length, 4,053 mm to be specific. While the problem with the platform has been fixed now with an Indianised, low-cost version - MQB A0 IN, trimming the length and redesigning the front and/or rear fascia(s) just for India would still be a very costly affair.
In case of the Mk6 VW Polo, the Indian subsidiary seems to have missed the bus. Until the end of 2021, no sub-4 metre model is going to be launched. In 2022 or later, the Mk6 VW Polo will likely be just a year or two away from the end of its lifecycle and would be too outdated to be launched. So, maybe we will get the Mk7 VW Polo directly.