Mumbai: Volkswagen, which launched a new version of its premium sedan Jetta, said the company would be focusing on increasing the profitability of its dealerships and not expand the network this year.
The German car major launched five models of its popular sedan Jetta in petrol and diesel versions in 2-litre and 1.4-litre engines with six-speed dual-clutch transmission available with the diesel models.
The new models are costlier by at least Rs 30,000 but with added safety features including six air bags.
The new Jetta, which is positioned against the Skoda Octavia from the VW group concern, is priced in the range of Rs 13.87 lakh to Rs 20.17 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai, will be available with dealers from today.
“We are not adding any more dealerships this year. My focus is to increase the profitability of each of my 120 dealers, because only then I can expect them to build my brand,” Volkswagen Passenger Cars India director Michael Mayer said.
He refused to disclose the number of models the company will be launching this year.
On the budget, Mayer said he does not expect the government to lower taxes, which he said is very high. The budget to do something on driving consumption, he added.
On the sales front, Mayer said the company expects to maintain 10-odd per cent market share in the 30,000 units a month premium car market, saying he hopes to maintain the company’s present position. He refused to disclose his sales expectation.
When asked why Volkswagen could not do an encore what its sister brand Audi has done, he partly blamed it on the timing of their entry, which in FY11, when the domestic economy started slowing.
On why local component share in Jetta are so low, he said blamed it quality issues on the supply side. The Jettas, which are rolled out from its Aurangabad plant, have under 20 per cent local components but its hatchback Polo has almost 80 per cent.
The Aurangabad plant has a capacity to produce around 89,000 units per annum. Almost 40 per cent of Jettas are sold to corporates, which he said want to increase, he said.
The German Volkswagen group, which is the largest car-maker in Europe, has put in 580 million euros in the country since its entry in FY11.
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