The Volkswagen group is betting big on the Indian market and in this regard aims to create a localised version of its MQB A0 platform to give it the cost advantage. The charge for this will of course be led by Skoda which is considered as a premium brand in India but in the global hierarchy it actually sits below Volkswagen. Earlier this year, Skoda and Tata had announced a JV to produce low priced cars using the AMP platform. However, that fell through and this will be the next course of action for the group.
Globally, the MQB A0 platform covers all the superminis produced under the VW umbrella and it is going to be a similar story here. Under this platform we can expect the next generation Polo, Vento, Rapid, Ameo and even a new Fabia to take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20. Additionally, this platform is also expected to underpin the production version of the Polo based T-Cross SUV that will be unveiled next year.
To most, using the term localised means cost-cutting through lower quality. However, we believe that here it will refer to the use of local vendors and suppliers for parts and development in a bid to keep costs low and ultimately pass on this benefit in the form of lower priced cars. With Skoda leading the charge, the company is expected to invest close to a billion dollars to ensure this development comes through.