Volkswagen in talks for car JV in India: Company official | Autocar Professional

Volkswagen Group, the Wolfsburg Germany based automaker home to brands such as Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda, Bentley, Seat, Lamborghini, Ducati and several CV brands, is engaged in “concrete discussions” regarding a potential partnership for passenger car production in India, Reuters reported the group’s finance chief, Arno Antlitz, as saying. 

Antlitz, speaking at the Reuters Events Automotive Europe conference in Munich, emphasized that while it is challenging to generate profits in the Indian market, it still presents a “clear” opportunity for the German automaker.

“We are in very good discussions,” Antlitz told Reuters, adding, “it’s very, very concrete.” He further expressed his optimism about the Indian market, stating, “I think we shouldn’t underestimate the potential in India in terms of a market … and in terms of regulatory uncertainty between the U.S. and China. I’m very positive about India.”

These comments follow Volkswagen’s signing of a supply agreement with India’s Mahindra in February, which focuses on the use of key electric components from the German carmaker’s open platform for electric vehicles.

The Volkswagen group already sells several of its models in India and has manufacturing operations in the country. The new tie-up is likely aimed at scaling up its presence in a market where it is still considered a niche player.

Volkswagen is a multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, comprising several well-known brands, each catering to different market segments and regions.

Volkswagen, the group’s flagship brand, is known for its popular models such as the Golf, Polo, and Passat. VW’s India current range includes Virtus, Taigun and Tiguan.

Audi, another prominent brand within the group, is synonymous with luxury and performance, offering a range of premium vehicles. Porsche, also owned by the Volkswagen Group, is renowned for its high-performance sports cars, such as the 911 and the Cayenne.

In terms of tie-ups, the Volkswagen Group has been actively collaborating with various partners across different markets. In China, the group has joint ventures with local manufacturers such as FAW and SAIC, enabling them to manufacture and sell vehicles tailored to the Chinese market. In the United States, Volkswagen has a strong presence with its manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The group has also signed a supply agreement with India’s Mahindra, focusing on the use of key electric components from Volkswagen’s open platform for electric vehicles.

India is home to one of the world’s fastest growing auto markets. Several major global automakers have established tie-ups and partnerships in India, recognizing the country’s significant potential as a growing automotive market. These collaborations have been in place for varying durations, with some spanning decades and others being more recent developments.

One of the most prominent examples is Maruti Suzuki, a joint venture between Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation and India’s Maruti Udyog Limited, which was established in 1981. This partnership has been instrumental in making Maruti Suzuki the largest passenger car manufacturer in India, with a market share of over 50% as of 2021.

Another long-standing partnership is that of Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company. HMIL began operations in India in 1996 and has since become the country’s second-largest car manufacturer, with a market share of around 17% as of 2021.

Toyota Motor Corporation, the Japanese automotive giant, has also had a presence in India through its joint venture with the Kirloskar Group, known as Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM). Established in 1997, TKM has been manufacturing and selling Toyota vehicles in India, with a focus on popular models such as the Innova and the Fortuner.

In recent years, other global automakers have also forged partnerships in India. For instance, in 2017, France’s PSA Group (now part of Stellantis) formed a joint venture with the CK Birla Group to manufacture and sell vehicles under the Citroën brand in India. Similarly, in 2019, Germany’s Volkswagen Group announced a partnership with India’s Mahindra & Mahindra to explore the use of Volkswagen’s MEB electric vehicle platform in India.

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