Volkswagen Group India consolidates into Skoda Auto Volkswagen India
The merger of the Group’s passenger car businesses brings Skoda, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini under the leadership of Gurpratap Boparai
The Skoda Auto-led Volkswagen Group India has announced the transformative merger of its three passenger car subsidiaries – Volkswagen India, Volkswagen Group Sales India and Skoda Auto India –into one single entity: Skoda Auto Volkswagen India.
The move comes six months after the first announcement was made about the planned restructuring of the Volkswagen Group companies in India. The merger of the three companies is an important milestone in the Skoda-led ‘India 2.0’ project of the Volkswagen Group and aims to make more efficient use of the existing synergies in developing India as a growth market.
The merger of the Group’s passenger car businesses brings Skoda, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini under the leadership of Gurpratap Boparai, who has been appointed the managing director of the new company. Commenting on the consolidation, Boparai said: “With this merger, we plan to combine the technology and management expertise of our team in India and realise our true potential in a challenging, competitive environment. We want to further strengthen our presence in India, ensure the professional development of our employees and safeguard sustainable profitability for our dealers.”
Bernhard Maier, Skoda Auto CEO, said: “The operational launch of Skoda Auto Volkswagen India marks an important milestone in the India 2.0 project. This merger creates one of the key prerequisites for working together more efficiently at all levels and achieving our long-term goal: to gain significant market shares for Volkswagen and Skoda by 2025. We will now proceed in a series of quick steps: As early as next year, we will be presenting a specific outlook for our INDIA 2.0 model portfolio at the Auto Expo in Delhi.”
The emergence of the merged entity with a strong five-brand portfolio is envisioned to serve across market segments and budgets. These brands, while retaining their distinctive identities, dealer network as well as implementing their own customer experience initiatives, will pursue a shared vision and strategy for the Indian market.
In July 2018, the Volkswagen Group announced investments of around one billion euros as part of the India 2.0 project. In January 2019, a new technology centre was opened in Pune, where vehicles will be developed based on the localised MQB-A0-IN subcompact platform, tailored to the requirements of local customers.
The first step in the new model programme will see Skoda Auto Volkswagen India launch a mid-size SUV model that will be available from both Skoda and Volkswagen brands. The company will be showcasing the concept cars at the Auto Expo 2020, which is held in New Delhi from February 6-9, 2020.
Other than the SUVs, the platform will also underpin a sedan each from Volkswagen and Skoda, with the Group looking to expand the market shares of the two brands in India by 2025. For the April to August 2019 period, Skoda Auto India had a passenger vehicle market share of 0.50% (5,501 units) and Volkswagen India had a market share of 1.08% (11,970 units).