Volkswagen India trying to get the Indian market dance to its tunes with such fastidiously built cars, established global nameplates and the mettle of German engineering rooting for them, has not yet happened.
Sales of the Polo and the Vento have stagnated. The Jetta and Passat failed to become segment leaders and the niche models Phaeton and Touareg are invisible. Far too many complaints on the lack of servicing quality at the workshops have been raised on enthusiasts groups, pages and forums.
Ze Germans are not pleased.
We are receiving and reading numerous reports of different mules of the VW family testing near Chakan. We are already aware that Volkswagen India is testing a CNG variant of the Vento in India. Our friends at MotorBash have caught the Polo in the CNG avatar in Pune. Unlike the Vento spotted earlier, this Polo has body-colored door-handles, ORVMs and alloy wheels.
The second spotting is by CarDekho.com of a VW Polo with a TSI badging. Considering Volkswagen has discontinued the 1.6L variant on the Polo, they may bring a smaller but more powerful 1.2L TSI engine to replace it. The smaller engine will also attract lesser duties leading to a reduction in price – an Achilles heel of the 1.6L Polo.
With an output of 104 hp/175 Nm, the 1.2L TSI Polo can sprint from 0-100 km/hr in under 9.7 seconds and will keep on pushing till it hits a top speed of 190kmph
AutocarIndia.com recently published a report where Volkswagen India is contemplating on introducing 1.5L diesel engine in the Polo and brand it as VW Polo GTD. The engine will pump out 105hp/250Nm. The idea clicks because cars that are under 4m long and have a diesel engine displacing under 1.5 liters are eligible for an excise benefit of 12%. So expect a decent price tag for the diesel hot hatch.
Volkswagen India is mulling a number of strategies to make sure that the bread butter products are able to attract people. With ex-Hyundai India honcho Arvind Saxena at the wheel, and keeping a mind that welcomes new ideas, we definitely believe Volkswagen can crack this market.
[Sources - CarDekho.com, MotorBash.com, AutoCarIndia.com]