Volkswagen cars to roll out from Chakan one year ahead of schedule

VW is said to be developing an all-new Polo hatchback and sedan for India, for which the styling may be based on this VW Scirocco

Volkswagen, which had earlier announced that it would start rolling out cars from its new manufacturing facility at Chakan (near Pune) by the first quarter of 2010, has had a change of heart. Seeing other German and Japanese companies getting too much of a headstart, VW now plans to launch its Chakan-made cars by April 2009, almost one full year ahead of schedule.

VW, which is already assembling some of its cars (Passat, Jetta…) at group company Skoda’s plant in Aurangabad, sold 16,695 cars in India in the January-October period this year. The German company is investing Rs 2,650 crore towards setting up its plant in Chakan, which will have an initial production capacity of 110,000 cars per annum.

VW is looking at launching two versions – a hatchback and a sedan – of the bestselling Polo, in India. The hatchback is likely to be launched by end-2009, while the Polo-based sedan will be launched a few months later, by mid-2010.

The Polo hatchback launched in India, which is being developed now, is likely to be fitted with 1.2-litre petrol and/or 1.3-litre common-rail diesel engine(s), in order to avail the duty benefit on cars with smaller engines.

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