German carmaker Volkswagen on Thursday launched its first product under its India 2.0 project – the Taigun. It also marks the company’s entry into the highly-competitive compact SUV segment in India. Under its ambitious India 2.0 strategy, the German carmaker in 2019 had merged three of its Indian subsidiaries – Volkswagen India, Volkswagen Group Sales India, and Skoda Auto India – in order to focus on consolidated market share and rethink its India strategy.
Launched at a starting price of Rs 10.49 lakh, the Taigun has been developed primarily for the Indian car market and comes with Volkswagen’s signature front grille in line with the group’s global design language. The company has launched four variants — the Dynamic line that has a manual base variant priced at Rs 10.49 lakh, the Highline that has both manual and automatic modes priced at Rs 12.79 lakh and 14.09 lakhs respectively, the Topline which again has a manual mode starting at Rs 14.56 lakh which can be upgraded to an automatic mode for Rs 15.90 lakh, and finally the Performance line which has a GT variant at Rs 14.99 lakh and a GT plus variant priced at Rs 17.49 lakh.
The cabin of the Taigun comes with a 10.1-inch infotainment screen, a conventional sunroof, wireless phone charger, cruise control, keyless entry with push-button start, red-coloured ambient lighting, and is developed on the indigenised version of Volkswagen Group’s global MQB (modular transverse matrix) platform – called the MQB A0 IN. It also has over 90 per cent of made-in-India components at the automaker's Chakan plant near Pune. Klaus Zellmer, member of board at Volkswagen Brand Sales, Marketing and After Sales said that this is our first locally-manufactured product in India and will help them achieve their target of 3 per cent market share by 2025. The company has a target of selling around 6,000 units of the SUV every month.
The Volkswagen Group entered India in 2001 with the Skoda brand and introduced the VW brand in 2007. Since then, the European automaker has struggled in India due to a tough competition by its Japanese and Korean peers. According to the SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) data, VW and Skoda brands together hold 1.5% of India’s passenger car market share by volume. The company hopes that its investment of 1 billion euros under its India 2.0 project along with its two upcoming launches will change the game. The investment includes tooling assembly lines, expanding capacity at its manufacturing plant in Chakan, and improving its retail and service network while adding new first-time customers through pre-owned car program.
“We have also made some changes to the total cost of ownership like reducing the parts price by up to 13 per cent, reducing engine oil price by 30 per cent, and increasing the parts service rate by 96 per cent. Our global MQB platform is adapted to Indian driving conditions, and has an improved suspension and torsional rigidity,” Ashish Gupta, brand head, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India said.
On the safety front, the SUV is equipped with six airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), a tyre pressure monitoring system, reverse camera with parking sensors and electronic stability program.
The Taigun will compete with Skoda Kushaq, Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Tata Harrier, etc.
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today