Volkswagen Group India has announced the merger of its passenger car subsidiaries – Volkswagen India Private Limited (VWIPL), Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Limited (NSC) and Skoda Auto India Private Limited (SAIPL) – into Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL).
The merger of the Group’s passenger car businesses brings Skoda, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini under the leadership of Gurpratap Boparai, who has been appointed the managing director of the new company.
Speaking on the announcement Boparai said, “With this merger, we plan to combine the technology and management expertise of our team in India and realise our 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.”
The Group has said that each brand would retain its individual identity, dealer network and customer experience initiative, but they will be pursuing a shared vision and strategy for the Indian market. The new entity will be headquartered in Pune, Maharashtra, with regional offices in Mumbai, Delhi and other cities across the country.
According to the VW Group, the merger marks an important milestone for its India 2.0 project, which is set to see the development and launches of multiple models from Volkswagen and Skoda. The new models will be underpinned by an India-specific iteration of the Group’s MQB-A0 platform – the MQB-A0 IN. The first models, post the merger, are set to be midsize SUVs from Skoda and VW. They will be previewed by concepts at the 2020 Auto Expo that’s set to be held in New Delhi from February 6-9, 2020.
Aside from the SUVs, the platform will also underpin a sedan each from VW and Skoda, with the Group looking to expand the market shares of the two brands in India by 2025.