Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Skoda MD Gurpratap Boparai will also handle Volkswagen

Gurpratap Boparai, currently MD of Skoda Auto India Private Ltd, will also become Managing Director of Volkswagen India Private Limited (VWIPL) with effect from 1 January 2019.

Gurpratap Boparai, managing director of the local arm of Czech automaker Skoda Auto, will also head the domestic subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, effective January 2019, Skoda Auto India Pvt. Ltd said in a statement on Tuesday. “Mr. Gurpratap Boparai, currently Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd., will also become Managing Director of the Volkswagen India Private Limited (VWIPL) with effect from 1 January 2019," the statement said.

“In the future, all (Volkswagen) Group brands will continue their operations under the leadership of Mr. Gurpratap Boparai with a common strategy in the Indian market. The restructuring of the Volkswagen Group companies in India is planned for next year, subject to regulatory approvals," it added.

Under its India 2.0 project to revive its fortunes in the “important growth market" here, the Volkswagen group is “restructuring its management in order to use the existing synergies more efficiently in the development of this important growth market". The aim of this measure is to make more efficient use of existing synergies and to establish more agile coordination processes so that decisions can be made more quickly and flexibly, the statement said.

“India is an important and attractive growth market for us. Our goal is clear: In this highly competitive environment, we aim for a combined Volkswagen and ŠKODA market share of up to 5% by 2025. Based on the MQB A0-IN platform from 2020, we will be offering the right models to unlock the Indian market’s potential," said Bernhard Maier, chief executive of Skoda Auto.

“With the introduction of the new management structure, we are laying the foundations both for the joint implementation of ‘INDIA 2.0’ and for achieving our goals in India: we will secure employment in India, create new jobs, attract talent and launch high quality and attractive vehicles on the market," said Boparai.

This project will entail investment of more than 1 billion euros (Rs 8,000 crore), the largest inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Indian auto sector.

Mint reported this first on 30 April. The project also entails setting up the VW group’s first engineering centre in India and a simplification of the business structure of the group in the country. Seeking to drive greater volumes on a global level, Volkswagen entrusted Skoda in late 2016 to lead the group’s India operations by entirely re-developing the MQB platform, thus terming it MQB-A0-IN, to drive greater volumes for developing countries, including India.

Mint reported this first on 14 August last year. This platform already meets the stricter legal requirements in India, which will come into force in 2020, the statement said, adding that Skoda will examine the possibility of exporting vehicles built in India in the second phase of this project.

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