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Old 21st July 2008, 15:43   #1
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Default Classic Volkswagens in India

Although this brand is very well established all over the world, surprising to know that they never sold their brands in India actively.

Next thing to surprise everyone is inspite of all this, the Volkswagen brand is so much seen in the country.

Even though these cars are seen more in number in India, little is known about its entry into Indian market.

The origins of the Company date back to 1930s Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler wanted private motorized transport to be widely available and commissioned engineer Ferdinand Porsche to produce such a vehicle. Some claim that this was based on a sketch that Hitler drew in 1932, a year before he came to power. Hitler decreed that this car should be capable of transporting two adults and three children at a speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), and that it should cost no more than a motorcycle and sidecar to buy. A savings scheme was also launched that would enable people to buy the car. However, the advent and aftermath of World War II meant that those who paid into the scheme never received their cars. Rumors said that the Beetle was originally designed for conversion into a makeshift armored car in times of war. Its style resembles a tankette without a turret or armor.

The Volkswagen company owes its postwar existence largely to one man, Oldham-born British army officer Major Ivan Hirst (1916–2000). After the war, Hirst was ordered to take control of the heavily bombed factory, which the Americans had captured. His first task was to remove the unexploded bomb which had fallen through the roof and lodged itself between some pieces of irreplaceable production equipment; if the bomb had exploded, the Beetle's fate would have been sealed. He persuaded the British military to order 20,000 of the cars, and by 1946 the factory was producing 1,000 cars a month. The car and its town changed their Nazi-era names to Volkswagen (people's car) and Wolfsburg, respectively. The first 1,785 Beetles were made in a factory near Wolfsburg, Germany in 1945.
Production of the "Type 1" Volkswagen Beetle increased dramatically over the years, with the 1 millionth car coming off the assembly line in 1954.

These are not the only brand that are existing in India. I can see so many of them, for e.g.,
1) The VW Variant(Fastback and Squareback's)
2) The VW Microbus (all models)
3) The Karmann Ghia
and still lots more.


WHY NOT SOLD ACTIVELY IN INDIA,-How did so many come into the country?

Somebody to shed some light on this.

Note from Mod - Please provide a link to the source of your information if you have not written it yourself. Thanks.

Last edited by Rehaan : 21st July 2008 at 23:01. Reason: Please see note in post.
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Old 21st July 2008, 16:42   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAVAN KADAM View Post
WHY NOT SOLD ACTIVELY IN INDIA,-How did so many come into the country?

Somebody to shed some light on this.
You can ask the same question about the myriad number of Toyota Corolla/Corona/Cressida/Crown/Camry/Land Crusier, Honda Civic/Accord etc. imported into the country over the past few decades apart from other marques like Mercedes, BMW, Rolls Royce, Bentley etc. etc. when none of them had a presence here.

IMO it's because when there's a good/attractive/high-image car launched people get to know about it & will find a way of importing it into our country.
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Old 21st July 2008, 16:47   #3
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Thanks iraghava,

That was a quick reply.

Anyways waiting for guys with real info on this subject to reply.

Heard about Mandovi Motors in Goa- i suppose they were the first to sell VW cars in India.
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Old 21st July 2008, 17:09   #4
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There was an official VW dealership in old Portuguese ruled Goa. Thats how I reckown so many landed on our shores.
The rest is history but it would be interesting to know where the others came in. Ant individual and personal experiences to share?
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Old 21st July 2008, 17:15   #5
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hi sir
just to add my bit...
just yesterday i saw a Bright red LHD VW sirrocco...
its had a stationwagon kinda body
design looked like it was from the 1980's

though not a pre 1950 but still i just saw and loved the car
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Old 21st July 2008, 17:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jubin View Post
hi sir
just to add my bit...
just yesterday i saw a Bright red LHD VW sirrocco...
its had a stationwagon kinda body
design looked like it was from the 1980's

though not a pre 1950 but still i just saw and loved the car
OK i think that sicrocco belongs to a T-BHP member blueoyster,

Yes its a lovely car,two door.Here's some pic i love to share.
Attached Images
 

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Old 21st July 2008, 17:53   #7
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my nanaji imported his 1964 vw bettle from S.Africa
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Old 21st July 2008, 19:16   #8
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Many of the vw's came to india as part of various projects which the indian government did jointly with foreign countries. An example is the indo-norwegian project of the 70's here in cochin. This was a project to promote modern fishing methods here. When the team came from abroad, they brought along with them, a large number of variants(squarebacks), and some microbuses. When the project was completed, the cars were sold here.also,these was Another project around the same time in ooty, to promote potato cultivation these, and this group also imported some vw's for their use here, which were subsequently sold here. A fellow member owns one of these cars today. Also, i believe the w.h.o had brought down some vw microbus ambulances for use here, as had various other missionaries. I believe vw's were chosen as they were cheap and reliable, and also maybe because they were popular in their good market.
another source for many vw's is goa, which i believe had a vw dealership. The vw's were popular in the home market of portugal, so could have been brought down here too.

Last edited by JayD : 21st July 2008 at 19:23.
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Old 22nd July 2008, 21:14   #9
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I started a forum about VW's, VW Community - Index
I think it's the first Indian VW forum ever!
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Old 23rd July 2008, 19:20   #10
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Default history of VW's in Kerala

Since JayD has already mentioned abt the Microbuses and variants which came to Kerala in bulk I will confine myself to the individual VW beetles which came here in the 60's and 70's.
As many may be aware Kerala is a land of Professionals esp .medical and many of such people had gone to Europe in the60's-80's. These guys when they returned to INDIA bought back with them a VW beetle(not a MERCEDES as in the late 80's) because it was an affordable car.I personally am aware off abta dozen such cars.one is KLR7767 owned by one Dr.Mukundan menon, then a KLV car(yellow) of Dr.Radhakrishna Pillai,KLT-6646(blue) owned by Dr.Krishnakumar.the KLU1972 owned by another Dr from Kollam,then KLZ-4000 ,then a yellow 1969 VW1300 bought from South Africa by a teacher from Ranni and which recently went to Bombay.then a KLQ beetle of a Doctor in Mayyanadu imported from Singapore.
Also KLY-6993 owned by Dr.Sebastian etc, then KLZ-2526 owned by a Doctor from Calicut and is in Trivendrum now
KLO-9669 owned by a doctor from Idduki
then many beetles have come from other states of INDIA and got reregd in the state.they include 4 KRF beetles,
also few cars were brought to KERALA by Exporters(cashew) like Babu of Kollam
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Old 23rd July 2008, 19:56   #11
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Default In Goa the VW Beetle was as common as the Premier in Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
There was an official VW dealership in old Portuguese ruled Goa. Thats how I reckown so many landed on our shores.
The rest is history but it would be interesting to know where the others came in. Ant individual and personal experiences to share?
Goa was Portugese ruled till 1961 and the streets of Goa were flooded with Mercs (incl Merc 190D taxis) Ford Zephyrs and Consuls(incl taxis),VW microbuses and the Volkswagen Beetle. The latter was the most commonly sighted private car there.There were in fact no Indian made cars in Goa till 1961. Imports were liberal from Europe and the spares were plentiful. By the end of the 1960's the scarcity of spares killed many of these cars and soon the Amby, Fiats and Standards took over the roads. even now one can find some remnants of the glorious motoring years in Goa. This May (2008) when I visited Goa in a few garages I could sight Beetles and a few Mercs of the 1950's evidently kept by connoisseurs.

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Old 23rd July 2008, 20:54   #12
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I also know of two beetles and one microbus,that were ordered from Goa in the early 60s and shipped directly to Kenya where the Owners were starting new work contracts.when the contracts were finished the owners took the cars back to Goa, where they are still on the roads today.
I personally know off eight Microbuses and around 30 beetles that have been or being restored todate.There are also many that have been bought
by people from other states during the last 3 years.I hope that some will remain in Goa for the younger generation to see and enjoy.
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Old 24th July 2008, 16:37   #13
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Ya this brand particularly has been in news off late and has become hard to get.

No wonder i' am finding it so tough to know what is what in my microbus.

Anyone who can shed some light on 1970 baywindow.
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Old 25th July 2008, 17:31   #14
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Assorted VW pictures I dug up.

We had seen this neat cabrio in Bandra in the mid 90s. It is now maroon.

Classic Volkswagens in India-01.jpg

I had seen MRJ 2193 parked below my house once, so we rushed down for photos. I only saw the car once more, and it was without bumpers. Looked immaculate.

Classic Volkswagens in India-05.jpg

Classic Volkswagens in India-07.jpg

We saw GDL 2553 in Goa, Nov 91.

Classic Volkswagens in India-04.jpg
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Old 31st July 2008, 19:32   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAVAN KADAM View Post
Ya this brand particularly has been in news off late and has become hard to get.

No wonder i' am finding it so tough to know what is what in my microbus.

Anyone who can shed some light on 1970 baywindow.
What do you need to know about the early Bay window.
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