Speaking to IndianAutosBlog.com this morning on the sidelines of the VW Ameo Cup at the at the MMRT (Madras Motor Race Track) in Chennai, Mr. Steffen Knapp, Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India, said that the company is looking at "all possibilities in order to enhance the portfolio", including exploring the CBU (Completely Built-up Unit) route.
"We have a lot to offer, in SUVs, we have SUVs in all categories, the T-ROC, the Touareg and the large Atlas, so we look at all possibilities", Mr. Knapp said. He, however, confirmed that VW would not launch the new Jetta in India, even as a CBU.
"We stopped right-hand drive production of Jetta, now we only make the left-hand drive, only for the American market. The right-hand drive is not making a business case. It does not deliver volumes necessary", Mr. Knapp said, even though group brand Skoda sells the Octavia in India in the same segment as the Jetta.
Speaking about electric vehicles, Mr. Knapp cited India's lagging EV infrastructure as a hurdle in bringing the brand's future electric products. The group aims to make 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2025 (between its brands), but until the Indian government makes strides in infrastructure and sticks to a taxation policy, do not expect to see a VW electric vehicle whizzing past on our roads. "I don’t want to have a small car with a short range of 100 km, there will be customers in India, but I don't want this", Mr. Knapp clearly states when asked about a made-for-India VW EV.
In a bid to ease importation of new vehicles, the Indian government is considering removing price and engine capacity restrictions to allow automakers to import 2,500 units annually without homologation. In an interview with IndianAutosBlog last month, Rahil Ansari, Head of Audi India, hinted that with the new import norms, the all-new Audi A1 would be considered for the Indian market.