New Delhi: Volkswagen Group India on Monday said it has received regulatory and statutory approvals to merge its three passenger car subsidiaries in the country into one entity which would be referred to as Skoda Auto Volkswagen India.
The merged entity, which includes -- Volkswagen India, Volkswagen Group Sales India and Skoda Auto India, would be led by Gurpratap Boparai, who will assume the role of its managing director. The Pune-headquartered company will operate two production facilities in Pune and Aurangabad, and have regional offices in Mumbai, New Delhi and other locations across the country.
"The operational launch of Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd marks an important milestone in the India 2.0 project," Skoda Auto CEO Bernhard Maier said in a statement. This merger creates one of the key prerequisites for working together more efficiently at all levels and achieving the group's long-term goal - to gain significant market shares for Volkswagen and Skoda by 2025, he added.
"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," Maier said. Commenting on the merger, Boparai said the group now plans to combine the technology and management expertise of the team in India and realise 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," he added.
The merged entity with a strong brand portfolio – Skoda Auto, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini - is envisioned to serve across market segments and budgets. These brands shall retain their distinctive identities, dealer network as well as continue implementing their own customer experience initiatives, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India said.
However, they will be pursuing a shared vision and strategy for the Indian subcontinent, it added. In July 2018, the Volkswagen Group announced investments of around EUR 1 billion as part of the India 2.0 project. In January this year, the company opened a new technology centre in Pune to develop vehicles based on the localised MQB-A0-IN subcompact platform, tailored to the requirements of local customers. As part of fresh model introduction strategy in the country, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India plans to drive in a mid-size SUV model, which would be sold from both Skoda and Volkswagen sales outlets.