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Old 20th December 2013, 17:42   #61
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

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Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
One area where they should improve is handling customer complaints. Mails go unacknowledged or not replied to, talking to their executives is at best, a grand waste of your time.
Also,where other companies interact with the customer directly, VW only does it through their dealers. I personally find it a high-handed approach. I feel both the company and dealership should be involved. Updating the dealer and forcing him to interact with the customer leaves a bad taste apart from delaying a resolution.
VW is trying to show red tapism in a country which is already a victim of Red-tapism. God bless this country to be flooded with Bureaucratic persons and VW is doing nothing but trying to follow them. People might say that "Customer is King", but only till he has money in his hand. Once the product/Service is purchased, he is solely left at the mercy/whims and fancies of OEM/Manufacturer. Maruti is one company which has stood against this notion.

Last edited by Aditya : 24th December 2013 at 12:38.
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Old 24th December 2013, 02:03   #62
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VW is trying to show red tapism in a country which is already a victim of Red-tapism. God bless this country to be flodded with Bureaucratic persons and VW is doing nothing but trying to follow them. People might say that "Customer is King", but only till he has money in his hand. Once the product/Service is purchased, he is solely left at the mercy/whims and fancies of OEM/Manufacturer. Maruti is one company which has stood against this notion.
Maruti and Hyundai are the two consistent companies that are not in the VW behaviour spectrum. All the reviews Read and experiences from friends they are happy with Maruti & Hyundai.

VW has such a beautiful, impressive portfolio but they are having a attitude of why should I worry the customer will fend for himself! Why go that extra mile and impress him! The word-of-mouth thing won't hold much in for VW.

Anurag.
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Old 24th December 2013, 10:50   #63
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

>>>
My two paise (or should it be two rupees in our inflationary times?):

1. Comparisons with MUL's pricing, products & customer service is distorting. Note that Maruri entered a virtually virgin Indian market in 1983 and has had considerable time to understand the psyche of the archetypal Indian

2. VW engineering & cost structure is different from the Japanese marques, which is entirely reasonable. Corporates have their 'culture' and the products reflect that culture

3. VW has the following branding segmentation, organisationally :

SEAT = budget brand, limited to Iberia primarily
Skoda = budget brand, for Europe (introduced in India as the first VW brand)
VW = mainstream brand
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I am leaving the upscale brands Audi (it has take nearly two decades for it to sit on the same table occupied by the BMW & Daimler Benz), Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley & Bugatti as these are not relevant to the conversation here.
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To my mind the central issue that VW has been struggling to resolve here is to 'map' their product range in the Skoda & VW brands with the potential buyers' profile. Their design, production & assembly costs possibly exclude them from the products (price ranges) that MUL & Hyundai in India excel at : the small hatchback & the small family saloon around 4-6 lacs.

That leaves VW with hatchbacks & saloons that sit directly across the more expensive saloons, which we call the C segment.

Indian buying preferences such as a focus on operating expenses/fuel costs, availability of bells & whistles (features-car audio etc.) and a lesser focus on engineering design coupled with the relatively immature aftermarket services almost precludes VW from a correct mapping that I referred to above. It also complicates the packaging of models, which some have mentioned in the posts above, in terms of inconsistent introduction of features.

The investments to be made (both in costs & learning) on maintenance of vehicles is new to many amongst us, which is an essential part of owning a German product.

Which leaves me to the nub of the argument: VW has to clearly articulate (at least internally) its long term market penetration strategy for India. I think they are fairly advanced there for PRC and have worked out their JVs etc., in that complicated and opaque market.

For India, a product range for both Skoda & VW, with a mix of products in the 7-10 lacs sticker price range (family hatchback & small family saloon), with a few in the 10-15 range (exec saloon, budget SUV) and then maybe a few more 15-25 range (larger exec saloon -D segment, normal SUV) might do the trick of attracting a new generation of car buyers.

The idea is to squeeze into the space between the Japanese volume makers & the premium German & British marques (Audi, BMW,Daimler & JLR).

Localisation is key.

I do not see any prospect for products priced at above 25 l here, as the teutons have established a bridgehead with their A,B Class and the impending entry of the 2 & maybe the A3, all of which are expected to play around the 25 l range. (Localisation, again.)



Obviously after market services by way of a trained workforce and attractive maintenance/warranty packages will be very welcome. This will attract many who have been jaded by dodgy levels of maintenance services & poor workmanship.

India is only a a good prospect in the longer term of say five years, given its expected economic rise.

Declaration : Am a satisfied VW user, one of the very first to plonk my hard earned money on a multi-linked rear suspension, 6 speed DSG product. Driving happily & safely ever since. Would happily consider another VW if they had a rear wheeled drive offering, which they don't.


Regards

Last edited by issigonis : 24th December 2013 at 10:54.
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Old 30th December 2013, 12:39   #64
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

We have some insights here from VW's new boss, in his interview with Mint on Dec 4.

http://www.livemint.com/Companies/1d...not-impor.html

The sum of what he says is that India is an important market but VW is yet to figure out how to win here. VW has certain standards for any car which cannot be met profitably in the cost structure that the Indian market players, especially the late entrants, have to work under.

He summed up the VW dilemma below.

"Small cars, compact SUVs and smaller sedans are going to dominate the Indian market in the next 10 years, and we need to be there in all of those segments. But the challenge is the lower you go, harder it is to meet the cost targets and margins become thinner.

So we will take our time to find the right product. We hope to make an announcement in the near future."


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Old 31st December 2013, 11:29   #65
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

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Originally Posted by diffsoft View Post
We have some insights here from VW's new boss, in his interview with Mint on Dec 4.

http://www.livemint.com/Companies/1d...not-impor.html

The sum of what he says is that India is an important market but VW is yet to figure out how to win here. VW has certain standards for any car which cannot be met profitably in the cost structure that the Indian market players, especially the late entrants, have to work under.

He summed up the VW dilemma below.

"Small cars, compact SUVs and smaller sedans are going to dominate the Indian market in the next 10 years, and we need to be there in all of those segments. But the challenge is the lower you go, harder it is to meet the cost targets and margins become thinner.

So we will take our time to find the right product. We hope to make an announcement in the near future."


Cheers,
I read the interview. It was interesting but at the end of the day, it seems to be an elaborate way of saying "we are clueless"

Also, I am not too sure what he means when he says that VW's product specs are higher. VW definitely has better build quality than say Honda, Maruti or Hyundai. But when it comes to engines/gearboxes, even though VW actually possessed more advanced tech (TSI, DSG, etc) than its competitors, these were not actually available on VW's mass market cars (read Polo/Vento) in India until very recently.

Then there is the issue of reliability and service standards where the Japs and even Hyundai are ahead.

It must be conceded though that VW being a late entrant faces a stiff challenge on the cost front because it must make huge investments if it is to keep marginal costs low. Maruti and Hyundai have a huge advantage in that not only did they enter the market early but also used this early entry to invest in manufacturing, supply chains and dealer networks. On the other hand, you have players like Honda and Toyota who frittered away their relatively early entry by not making enough investments.

But then, if there is any global player that has the requisite deep pockets and the willingness to take some risks, it is VW.
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Old 31st December 2013, 11:55   #66
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

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Originally Posted by satyaanveshi View Post
But then, if there is any global player that has the requisite deep pockets and the willingness to take some risks, it is VW.
Yup! Essentially if they really get serious about India, they can simply buy Suzuki (and they definitely possess the financial might to pull this off, they did buy Porsche didn't they!). In one shot they will be No. 1 in India!
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Old 31st December 2013, 12:26   #67
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Yup! Essentially if they really get serious about India, they can simply buy Suzuki (and they definitely possess the financial might to pull this off, they did buy Porsche didn't they!). In one shot they will be No. 1 in India!

Ha ha. And then the consumer can hope to maybe get that lovely Euro build rather than the tin box dabba Maruti build quality.
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Old 31st December 2013, 13:52   #68
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

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Yup! Essentially if they really get serious about India, they can simply buy Suzuki (and they definitely possess the financial might to pull this off, they did buy Porsche didn't they!). In one shot they will be No. 1 in India!
Suzuki owns 56%, so VW cannot get management control unless they buy out Suzuki. Suzuki won't sell, and as you may know a deal fell through a couple of years ago.

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Ha ha. And then the consumer can hope to maybe get that lovely Euro build rather than the tin box dabba Maruti build quality.
To complete the picture consumers will also have to trade-in poorer Euro reliability, service and higher chance of suspect dealers in return for a lovely Euro build.

By buying far more of Maruti products than VW in the same segment, consumers are saying they are unwilling to pay the Euro premium and seem to prefer tin-box dabba to Euro vaults.

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Old 31st December 2013, 14:02   #69
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Suzuki owns 56%, so VW cannot get management control unless they buy out Suzuki. Suzuki won't sell, and as you may know a deal fell through a couple of years ago.
Cheers,
I meant Suzuki itself and not Maruti. VW can really buy Suzuki (whole of their motor business) if they get serious. Suzuki is not a big player and is unlikely to survive by itself for very long. I really think it is up for grabs. in corporate world everything has a price and so does Suzuki. Its just about VW getting really serious about it!

And it does make sense for a player like VW to acquire Suzuki. They will get great presence in a tough market like India. They need not alter anything at Suzuki, just keep it as their "value" proposition for emerging markets (read poor countries like India). Suzuki can be run independently under the same VW unbrella just like their other marques. This can allow them to serve all sorts of customers - from entry level (Suzuki) to elite (Audi).
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Old 31st December 2013, 14:46   #70
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Suzuki owns 56%, so VW cannot get management control unless they buy out Suzuki. Suzuki won't sell, and as you may know a deal fell through a couple of years ago. To complete the picture consumers will also have to trade-in poorer Euro reliability, service and higher chance of suspect dealers in return for a lovely Euro build. By buying far more of Maruti products than VW in the same segment, consumers are saying they are unwilling to pay the Euro premium and seem to prefer tin-box dabba to Euro vaults. Cheers,

I think it is more a question of willing ness to spend really. Maruti and Hyundai etc are not as 'vault-like' as those Euros.
Our people clearly prefer the former two on account of pricing, features, reliability etc.
Also, these cars do not have a 'perception barrier' concerning affordability, maintenance cost, premium car-premium price- premium everything etc, which the Euros unfortunately for them, are burdened with.
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Old 31st December 2013, 16:22   #71
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

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Originally Posted by joslicx View Post
VW can really buy Suzuki (whole of their motor business) if they get serious. Suzuki is not a big player and is unlikely to survive by itself for very long. I really think it is up for grabs. in corporate world everything has a price and so does Suzuki. Its just about VW getting really serious about it!
And it does make sense for a player like VW to acquire Suzuki. They will get great presence in a tough market like India. They need not alter anything at Suzuki, just keep it as their "value" proposition for emerging markets (read poor countries like India). Suzuki can be run independently under the same VW unbrella just like their other marques. This can allow them to serve all sorts of customers - from entry level (Suzuki) to elite (Audi).
Yes, if they can take over an entity like Suzuki, it would really stir-up the scene for VW in India, especially if some of their positives are imparted to the acquired brand (like how they managed with Skoda internationally). But the speculations around earlier (failed) alliance was not very promising – to have an A-Star rebadged as a VW and a Wagon R as a Skoda!


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I think it is more a question of willing ness to spend really. Maruti and Hyundai etc are not as 'vault-like' as those Euros.
In the international scene these brands are getting better. For e.g.; The new Santa FE scored the Best-in-class Euro NCAP rating in 2012. And Suzuki also is showing positive signs in Europe. The Swift Sport is a well-received small car, and the recently launched S-Cross have garnered some good reviews as well.
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Old 5th February 2014, 19:18   #72
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

Volkswagen Taigun compact SUV concept unveiled at the Auto Expo.

Volkswagen India: The Way Forward-volkswagentaigunindia3.jpg

Volkswagen India: The Way Forward-volkswagentaigunindia5.jpg

Volkswagen India: The Way Forward-volkswagentaigunindia2.jpg

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The Volkswagen Taigun is based on a stretched version of the New Small Family Platform (NSF) that underpins the Up! hatchback as well.

The Volkswagen Taigun concept is powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine capable of producing 108 BHP of power, and chances are high that this engine will make it to the production version when launched in India. We do get the 1.2 four-cylinder TSI mill producing 105 BHP powering the Polo, which could also be used to power the Taigun and is tried and tested to suit Indian conditions. For a diesel heart, VW already has the 1.2-litre TDI motor performing diesel duties, but is developing a new family of diesel engines and a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine is said to be India bound on the Taigun.

The Taigun concept tucks in at 3859 mm and if launched with the same dimensions will also comply with the excise duty regulations that will let Volkswagen price it aggressively. The Volkswagen Taigun will make its production debut in 2016 and will be competing against the likes of Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano, Marutiís XA-Alpha and Hondaís compact SUV in the Indian market.

Expect the prices to start at Rs. 7 lakhs for the petrol motor going up to Rs. 10 lakhs for the top of the line diesel variant.
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Old 11th February 2014, 15:12   #73
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1.Volkswagen sub-4 meter compact sedan (with 1.5 TDI)– due for a 2015-16 launch – is likely to be based on the Up! platform (A0), of using the floor pan of the Volkswagen Taigun compact SUV.

2.Taigun would be launched in India with the 1.5TDI engine, to be longer in front to accomodate the TDI and rear legroom to be improved. 'CUV' to measure < 4 m in length. Petrol engine could bethe 1.0 L TSI, the same used in UP if it comes to India (still being evaluated) . Launch of Tiagun expected in late 2015 or early 2016. Manufacturing plants In Brazil and India

3. Polo facelift and with 1.5 TDI in mid 2014. Vento Facelift ? Seems 1.5TDI testing on Vento is done in the existing car.

4. Next Gen Polo (more spacious and MBQ platform )globally in 2015 and India launch could be in 2016 - would be evaluated with MBQ platform investments .

While the A0 (Up!) platform will continue to do duty in the Volkswagen group’s entry level car models, most other cars will go the MQB route.

Source:ACI/cartoq

Last edited by volkman10 : 11th February 2014 at 15:36.
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Old 19th February 2014, 14:12   #74
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

With Volkswagen not yet excited on India in the short term, the focus is now for the long term- 2016 when they will arrive with new products - Tiagun, Next gen Polo and a New Sedan.

The cleverly designed rear of Taigun
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From 2014 until end 2015, VW will for its release the Polo and Vento facelifts that is in the pipeline. Both cars will get cosmetic and mechanical changes - the 1.5TDI.

Volkswagen is also planning to use the cooling off/consolidation period to improve its after sales service, which should then be able to gain more customers in 2016.
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Old 20th February 2014, 08:37   #75
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With Volkswagen not yet excited on India in the short term, the focus is now for the long term- 2016 when they will arrive with new products - Tiagun, Next gen Polo and a New Sedan.
If Volkswagen keep silent and waut til 2016 for releasing its cars, it'll be too late and all competition would have gone miles ahead and with new launches by all manufacturers it will be difficult for Volkswagen to get back into business and thanks to their ASC things will worsen.

Hope they prove us wrong.

Anurag.
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