New Delhi: Come 2009, Indians will have the chance to own the original ‘people’s car´ -- the Beetle -- as German carmaker Volkswagen has firmed up plans for its introduction in the country.
“Beetle will come here. After strengthening our dealership network, it will come next year,” Volkswagen India President and Managing Director Joerg Mueller told reporters here.
The company has been looking at using the Beetle as a brand building tool for Volkswagen as it prepares to get into the highly competitive Indian compact car segment by 2010.
Beetle is now manufactured in Mexico for VW’s worldwide supplies and could come to India through the completely built unit import route.
VW is investing 580 million euros (approx Rs3,600 crore) in setting up a manufacturing facility at Chakan in Maharashtra from where it would roll out is small car for the Indian market.
It plans to launch its compact car based on the Polo platform in two variants -- hatchback and sedan -- once it starts production at its Chakan plant in Maharashtra.
“The car based on Polo platform will be rolled out from our upcoming plant (in Chakan) by the first half of 2010,” Mueller said.
From next year, the plant would also produce group firm Skoda’s new Fabia, he added.
The company is also on a dealership network expansion. It currently has eight dealers in the country and plans to increase to 15 by the end of this year.
“We are planning to have 15 dealers this year and it will go up to 120 by 2011,” Mueller said.