In one of our articles last month we informed you about VW’s plans to bring SEAT hatchbacks in India. And like most of our well-informed readers, we also wondered what could possibly stop VW from simply launching the VW UP hatch here which has already been spied testing numerous times here in India.
Thierry Lespiaucq, Volkswagen Group India Sales Head, in an interview with ET, has very bluntly said that ‘VW is not a cheap manufacturer and will never be’, while referring to entry-level hatchbacks in India. Thiery also added that the sub four-metre sedans and compact SUVs are segments that present great opportunities for VW and Skoda.
Talking about the UP hatchback, he said that it is not a cheap car to build and if launched in India the price won’t be too different from the Polo. So at least for the next couple of years you won’t see an entry-level hatch with the Volkswagen logo on it. You can, however, expect to see, as Thiery puts it, Polo derivatives in the near future.
We don’t mind that actually, because with Maruti and Hyundai hogging that space with fantastic products, others’ absence in the segment is not really felt by the target customers. Plus, the ‘premium’ brands would find it impossible to match the best-sellers’ pricing, as confessed by Thiery.
Volkswagen recently did a segment-first by making dual airbags a standard safety feature across all Polo variants. In fact, the company is also providing ABS (Antilock Braking System) in all Polos, save for in the base Trendline trim. The Polo starts at INR 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom) and competes with the Fiat Punto Evo and the Hyundai i20 primarily, among others.