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Old 5th December 2009, 06:28   #1
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Default Report & Pics: Volkswagen Beetle and Touareg launch in Mumbai

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The 'Bug' is officially here. After months of speculation VW finally launched the Beetle in India at a grand event which was held at the Taj Lands End Mumbai. The whole place had a very Beetle feel to it. There were old Beetles lined up in the Hotel drive way and another next to the entrance. The old VW Bug commercials shown on the screen mounted on the stage were a treat to watch. This was followed by a song and dance act by Shiamak Davar who had the crowds tapping their feet to his music. Two Beetles, a red and a yellow one finally joined him on stage to the tune of the famous number 'Grease Lightning'. Though they term this car the 'New' Beetle, there is nothing new about it. Its the same car that has been running around for years now. The Beetle in India will be sold with a 2.0 115 BHP petrol engine mated to a 6 speed auto box.

Moments later the Touareg SUV was driven down a hill onto stage marking its official debut in India. The Touareg has been on sale since VW came into India so I quite dont understand why they had a launch now. Ehsaan Noorani of Shankar Ehsaan Loy fame gave a performance at this time. The Touareg comes with a 3.0 V6 TDI unit with a 6 speed DSG box giving out 240 BHP and 550 Nm of torque. Sorry guys no plane pulling V10 here

Niraj Garg, the head of Volkswagen passenger cars in India then gave out the prices for the two new launches which are are follows:

The Beetle: Rs. 20.45 lakh Ex Showroom Delhi

The Touareg: Rs. 51.85 Ex Showroom Delhi

The Beetle is very pricey at this point considering its an old model and will be replaced next year with an all new one. It may well find takers with hardcore Beetle lovers and lady drivers who want something different. It is still an iconic car after all. The Touareg? Only time will tell if it can tap the hot premium SUV market. After all it comes with the same engine that powers the Q7 TDi and and the Cayenne diesel if i'm not wrong.

As usual, bumped into a few Bhpians at the launch and it turned into a mini meet of sorts.

Now some pictures from the event:


A giant VW logo projected onto the SeaRock hotel building

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Lineup of old Beetles outside the venue

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Shiamak Davar performing for the audience...

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And the Beetle joins in the party

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Some Beetle pics. Nothing new here, we've seen it before

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And then came the Touareg ....

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Ehsaan Noorani performing by the Touareg

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Last edited by Dippy : 5th December 2009 at 07:12.
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Old 5th December 2009, 08:13   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
The Beetle: Rs. 20.45 lakh Ex Showroom Delhi
Price looks somewhat OK considering its a brand building exercise, and a proper icon around the world. And specs look good for a hot hatch- 115 bhp, 6-speed auto!

Only competition (Wonder what will be the sales for both cars! ) right now is FIAT 500 at 15L, but only with our 1.3L 75 bhp national multijet engine!

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 5th December 2009 at 08:18.
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Old 5th December 2009, 10:12   #3
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Excellent Dippy!

The most excited person is Dad. For years, in his generation, he always wanted to own the iconic Bug. With the current price tag, dunno if he'd want to buy it, but his heart still beats for it, for sure.
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Old 5th December 2009, 10:18   #4
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This is a strange launch.

The New Beetle: I remember the excitement it created when this Beetle was really new. Whenever my wife and I used to see it on road, we would keep looking. If we found it in some grocery shop parking lot, we would go around checking it out. And we would find other people doing the same. Later some neighbours bought it, started it seeing them every day in our apartment complex parking lot. Still it always brought a smile at close up.

The Touareg: There are two Touaregs I have seen running around my remote itsy bitsy town all of this year. I am sure bigger cities have loads of them. So, what is the point of the fresh launch?

Regarding Beetle price, VW absolutely doesn't want to sell it in big numbers. They have one dealer in Karnataka, one in Kerala, etc. They are not geared to sell even a C+ segment car. If they sell more, their A.S.S will be in a big soup, and will further tarnish the service reputation they have.
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Old 5th December 2009, 10:30   #5
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The Touareg: There are two Touaregs I have seen running around my remote itsy bitsy town all of this year. I am sure bigger cities have loads of them. So, what is the point of the fresh launch?
That was exactly what I was wondering. Just when I thought the launch is over out came the Touareg. V6 aside I have seen atleast 3 V10 TDIs running around here.
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Old 5th December 2009, 11:30   #6
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Love the VW Beetle.

Hope to own it some day !
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Old 5th December 2009, 11:41   #7
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great covering Dippy, just wondering why do they name it new beetle which is around country for some time now as well as touareq.Infact new beetle is heard to be launched in coming months in 2010.
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Old 5th December 2009, 12:19   #8
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That so called 'new' Beetle is already a decade old design. So what's the fuss all about?
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Old 5th December 2009, 12:46   #9
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Thanks to my ignorance. Beetle for 20 lakhs? That's crazy. It is one car that can really sell well anywhere if priced with affordability. Yeah ok they want build brand but they already are a brand. Why prevent people from buying it? I seriously had do idea that it will be priced that much. In US it starts at 17K. But, yeah we gotta pay more...or at best don't own one.
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Old 5th December 2009, 13:00   #10
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Nice coverage and pics Dippy.

So the New Beetle is finally in India (officially). Though I kind of liked the pics of the old Beetles as much if not more.

The VW logo projected on SeaRock was a nice touch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
They have one dealer in Karnataka, one in Kerala, etc. They are not geared to sell even a C+ segment car. If they sell more, their A.S.S will be in a big soup, and will further tarnish the service reputation they have.
Egads! and the Polo is coming out soon. I do hope VW have a good dealer network to unveil along with the Polo launch otherwise, it'll flop bigtime. My guess is they might just tie up with existing Skoda dealers - them being a group company 'n all that.

With all the entertainment and razz and full page ads VW sure seem to be going all out in creating brand awareness. Lets hope they have the go to match the show.
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Old 5th December 2009, 13:02   #11
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I actually do not understand how does the brand building takes place with such models like Fiat 500 or Volkswagon beetle. Fiat 500 is selling 1 or 2 cars at max per month. I think it is here now almost for more than an year. I never happened to see a single one on road. Nor is it that such models would be displayed in all the showrooms as a show piece so that people can come and adore it as well as the brand.

Only some people who would happen to be there around some 'premium' showroom may get a feel of it. There would not be more than 2-3 showrooms in the entire state. Some states may not have a single one even. And to spot such models on road is extremely rare or next to impossible.

How can brand building happen when people do not get to see that brand. It may just satiate feelings of some niche customers (in 2 digits) without much contribution (practically) to brand or the sales.
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Old 5th December 2009, 13:06   #12
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While the Touareg is a nice car, it is pretty much at it's end of life, and the beetle? Iconic or no I'd never have that anywhere close to my garage.

P.S Isn't the beetle this generation also coming to it's end of life? (Correct me if I'm wrong)
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Old 5th December 2009, 13:07   #13
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...might just tie up with existing Skoda dealers - them being a group company 'n all that...
There's a recipe for disaster. At least in perception, if not in practice.
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Old 5th December 2009, 13:26   #14
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Quote:
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There's a recipe for disaster. At least in perception, if not in practice.
Yes, but VW will get synergies in distribution & area coverage atleast, did I mention they are also a VW group company ? Seems like a no brainer to me. I do not hear/see any news of dedicated VW dealers popping up all over the country to support a mass market launch.

BTW, I'm not sure Skoda's A.S.S. image is that tarnished. Their sedans are doing well. Even t-bhpians are buying them despite the damning threads.

Dippy, waay OT here.

Last edited by gomzi : 5th December 2009 at 13:38.
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Old 5th December 2009, 13:31   #15
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BTW, I'm not sure Skoda's A.S.S. image is that tarnished. Their sedans are doing well. Even t-bhpians are buying them despite the damning threads.
Well quite a few TBhpains are also dropping the idea of Skodas because of the A.S.S. Even if this phenomenon is purely on T-Bhp, that's still a lot of customers lost for VW. Either way, a fresh start would be better for VW. But since they haven't got the infrastructure, I suppose they'll have to share with Skoda for a while.
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