India: From a Nation of Mopeds to a Nation of Cars?

India: From a Nation of Mopeds to a Nation of Cars?

Models

It is mopeds, not cars, that continue to dominate Indian roads, where wild-roaming cattle are commonplace. This prevalence of two-wheelers could, however, be about to change. And ŠKODA is set to be one of the drivers of change.

10. 10. 2019

The Volkswagen Group has entrusted ŠKODA with the management of the INDIA 2.0 project, meaning the company will be responsible for the development of the MQB-A0-IN chassis platform and the Volkswagen Group’s plans for a model offensive on the Indian market. At the Technology Centre opened in Pune in January 2019, 250 specialists will develop cars tailored to the needs and requirements of customers in the Indian subcontinent.

Projekt INDIA 2.0: ŠKODA a Volkswagen Group India otevírají nové Technologické centrum v Pune

Preparations for the local development and production of new ŠKODA and Volkswagen models are in full swing. The introduction of a design study for a new ŠKODA based on the MQB-A0-IN platform is slated for next year.

Factory-India-Octavia

ŠKODA currently runs manufacturing operations in two factories in India. Besides the ŠKODA OCTAVIA (pictured), the RAPID, SUPERB and KODIAQ are also made here.

Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd. is keen to point out that “the Technology Centre will lay the foundations for the development of products designed specifically for the Indian market. We expect the first products – for both the ŠKODA and Volkswagen brands – to be rolled out by 2020-21, starting with a mid-sized SUV based on the MQB-A0-IN platform. This will be followed by a ŠKODA-spearheaded model campaign. I am convinced that we can leverage all of ŠKODA’s strengths to the great benefit of the entire Volkswagen Group.”

Gurpratap-Boparai-circle
Gurpratap Boparai
Managing Director ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd.


The following questions and answers, borrowed by ŠKODA Storyboard from the Volkswagen Newsroom, provide a comprehensive overview of the Indian market.

Škoda Kodiaq

Four questions about the Indian market



1. What’s so special about it?

The Indian car market has played an understated role on the world’s passenger car market up until now, given the size of its population. The over four million passenger car sales in 2018 elevated it to the world’s fourth largest passenger car market, sandwiched between Japan and Germany and just behind the US and the global leader, China. India is predicted to overtake this neighbour as the world’s most populous country in the next few decades.

SIAM, the Indian passenger car manufacturers association, estimates that the Indian market is likely to move ahead of Japan by 2020, making it a top-three global market. Mopeds remain the mobility of choice in a country where two-wheeled vehicles outsell passenger cars by five-to-one. China has illustrated how, once momentum builds, a two-wheel mobility nation can rapidly transform into a four-wheel nation. A potential consequence of the forecast growth would likely come at the expense to the environment, which the Indian government is actively addressing through tougher emissions regulations.

Výroba, Škoda Auto India

The near global magnetic draw towards SUV/crossovers hasn’t passed India by. The growing market share going to these vehicles, despite the smaller budgets and fiscal restrictions heavily influencing vehicle dimensions, are sculpting a new face for India’s roads.

2. What's new? 

The near global magnetic draw towards SUV/crossovers hasn’t passed India by. The growing market share going to these vehicles, despite the smaller budgets and fiscal restrictions heavily influencing vehicle dimensions, are sculpting a new face for India’s roads.

An important milestone under the Volkswagen Group’s “INDIA 2.0” project will be the launch of the first SUV/crossover model to be designed and manufactured in India. The vehicle will be the first based on the MQB (Modular Transversal Toolkit) platform, specially modified for India, and much of the technical development will take place locally. Volkswagen Group models sold and made locally will be based on this architecture, which already meets the stricter legal requirements for India that will be coming into force in 2020. The strategic aim of “INDIA 2.0” is to improve on the Group’s current market position.

Factory-India-Karoq

ŠKODA currently runs manufacturing operations in two factories in India. Besides the ŠKODA KODIAQ (pictured), the RAPID, SUPERB and OCTAVIA are also made here.

3. Who’s strong?

The Indian market is dominated by locally-established Asian manufacturers with a market presence stretching far back. ŠKODA, active on the Indian subcontinent since 2001, having sold more than a quarter of a million vehicles since then and consistently increasing its sales in recent years, aims to carve out more of a foothold on this hugely promising market from 2020. ŠKODA accounted for roughly half of the Volkswagen Group’s cars sold in India last year, with both brands combined commanding a lower single-digit share of the market.

India-Kodiaq-street

It is mopeds, not cars, that continue to dominate Indian roads, where wild-roaming cattle are commonplace. This prevalence of two-wheelers could, however, be about to change.

4. What’s next?

From 2020, new emissions standards will be enforced, marking a new chapter in India’s passenger car market. The government has decided to skip an emission standard norm, jumping directly from the current BS-IV (Euro 4) to BS-VI (Euro 6). Thanks to early developments, all Volkswagen Group models based on the “INDIA 2.0” strategy will be compliant. To reduce emissions further and narrow exposure to imported energy sources, the Indian ministry of power has proposed a 30% electric vehicle sales target by 2030. However, infrastructure will have to be dramatically improved by then, with a recent study by Here Maps showing that Mumbai has just a handful of public charging stations. The Volkswagen Group is poised to respond as soon as the Indian market is ready for electric vehicles.

Another trend in India is the growing Mobility-as-a-Service sector. Thanks to the young smartphone generation – smartphone use is likely to reach 500 million by 2020 according to Statista data – young Indians are increasingly using phones for ride hailing services. One of the largest smartphone-based ride hailing services in India, OlaCabs, with more than 150,000 drivers, aims to help reach the milestone of having one million electric vehicles – including three-wheelers – on India’s roads by 2021.

Related Stories Based on tags: 2019, India

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