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Volkswagen AG is exploring opportunities to introduce its entry-level Jetta brand in India in the next few years, replicating a similar move in China, as the German automaker aims to deepen its presence in this growing market where it has trailed most of its competitors, two people aware of the plans said.

Volkswagen is also studying opportunities to start the production of some of its mass-market models that are produced in China in India and export them to other emerging markets such as South-East Asia under the Jetta brand, the people mentioned above said, requesting anonymity. The firm is also actively considering the supply of cars to the taxi segment to generate volumes, they said.

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Volkswagen in 2019 launched the Jetta brand in China in collaboration with its Chinese partner FAW Group to attract first-time buyers.

The firm has been exploring the feasibility of the launch of the Jetta brand in India for some time as it realizes the need for an affordable vehicle brand in this market, one of the two people mentioned above said.

“Volkswagen is also exploring export opportunities from India for some of its products currently available in China. They have a portfolio of products that can be launched in India and this would help them save cost as well. To sustain its domestic operations, the company would need volumes and this is probably one of the preferred ways," the person said.

After a decade of subdued sales, the Volkswagen Group, in 2018, decided to invest 7,900 crore under its India 2.0 plan to revive its fortunes. It is now gearing up to launch its new product, Taigun, a compact SUV, in 2021.

The Taigun will be one of the first products to use the MQB A0-IN platform in India, which is designed to build multiple products in the utility vehicle and hatchback segments.

“Besides the India 2.0 project, which would help the company not only expand production in India but also improve its profitability in its local operations, the company management was also looking to further expand production by making budget cars and cater to the taxi segment in India and emerging Asian markets," said the second person cited above.

“Škoda Auto and Volkswagen will continue to lead the Indian market with segment leading premium volume products with our upcoming range built on the MQB A0-IN platform. The India 2.0 strategy is central to Škoda Auto Volkswagen India and there is no change with respect to either the brand strategy or further alignment of our brands within the group," said a spokesperson for Skoda Auto Volkswagen India in response to an emailed query.

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