The allure of low cost-high volume is proving to be too hard to resist for German car making behemoth, Volkswagen, whose ambitions squarely rest on global domination of the auto industry by 2018. Nissan and Renault has been first movers amongst global car makers, with their Datsun and Dacia brands, and Volkswagen could be the latest. The Volkswagen board is said to be close to making an announcement about the German car giant’s low cost car plans. Volkswagen’s low cost car brand could use the Tantus brand or even perhaps carry an all new name altogether.
Like Nissan will do with the Datsun range of low costs cars for emerging markets, Volkswagen is expected to use one generation older car models as the base for its low cost models. The older Volkswagen car platform like the PQ, which underpins the current Polo, is expected to be used for the new low cost car brand. All the cars in the low cost Volkswagen car brand are expected to be priced well under the INR 7 Lakh mark, with the price of the most expensive of the low cost car model, a compact crossover, being pegged at about 6.4 lakh rupees.
Here are the various low cost car models Volkswagen could produce under its low cost car brand.
* Entry level 3 Door Hatchback priced at under INR 4 lakhs
* Entry level sedan priced at INR 5 lakhs
* Low cost station wagon carrying a price tag between 5 and 5.5 lakh rupees
* Low cost MPV priced at INR 5.5 lakhs
* Compact crossover priced at about 6.5 lakh rupees
The Volkswagen low cost car brand is expected to be targeted at countries like India, China and Russia, where the demand for inexpensive yet feature filled and reliable cars is very high. While we say feature filled, basic features like a power steering and air conditioning, stuff that the Western world takes for granted on its cars, are expected to make it onto the low cost cars from Volkswagen. In a connected world, car buyers in emerging markets like India and China, though demanding inexpensive cars, do expect contemporary design and decent equipment levels.
So, Volkswagen’s low cost brand needs to keep that in mind to succeed in these markets, for products like the Toyota Etios and Liva, with dated designs and decidedly low rent interiors haven’t done well in emerging markets like India and Brazil. Engines for the Volkswagen low cost brand is expected to be borrowed from the the 1.2 Liter petrol and TDI turbo diesel range. Bigger engines like the 1.6 Liter MPI petrol and TDI diesel might also be used on these cars, depending on the markets the cars will be launched in.