Volkswagen to spend 2K cr on localisation R&D

Volkswagen to spend 2K cr on localisation R&D

'India 2.0' aims to achieve 95% localisation of cars supplied in Indian market

Global automaker Volkswagen has said that it will be investing Rs 2,000 crore on research and development as part of its “India 2.0” project.

The company will be spending the amount, with aim of achieving 95% localisation of the cars supplied in the Indian markets. As of date, Volkswagen is represented by five passenger car brands in India: Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda, and Volkswagen.

As part of its spent on the R&D within India, the company, on Saturday, Inaugurated a new Technology Center here. At the facility, Indian engineers will be responsible for project management, electronics, infotainment, body design, interior, chassis and complete vehicle. The company is embarking on the project along with in collaboration with Skoda – a brand owned by Volkswagen group.

The company aims to generate 250 engineering jobs from the tech centre, which is on second such R&D centre for Skoda outside its headquarters in the Czech Republic.

Andrej Babiš, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, who was the chief guest for the function, stated: “I am delighted that Skoda Auto is expanding its presence and involvement in India with such significant investments and promising projects. The fact that ŠKODA is creating great opportunities for the high potential market here in India demonstrates the long-term strategy of the brand.”

He also said that this facility was in sync with the Make in India campaign. The Make in India campaign, which has seen losing its sheen off late, was at a point of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet projects.

In July 2018, the Volkswagen Group confirmed Rs 7,900 crore (€1 billion) investment in the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, which will primarily be used in developing ŠKODA AUTO and Volkswagen vehicles for the Indian market. The first of these models will be a mid-size SUV in the A0 segment, which will be unveiled in 2020 during the Auto Show in New Delhi.

Gurpratap Boparai, Head – Volkswagen Group India, emphasizes: “The Technology Center will lay the foundation for the development of products that are specially designed for the Indian market. We expect to roll out the first products, for both the ŠKODA as well Volkswagen brands, by 2020- starting with a mid-sized SUV based on MQB A0 IN platform. A model campaign, led by ŠKODA, will follow. I am convinced that we can use all the strengths of ŠKODA to the great benefit of the entire Volkswagen Group.”

The company, which has been recently under the radar of National Green Tribunal (NGT) for causing "serious environmental damage", said that vehicles developed in India will meet the same standards for safety, quality and design that the Volkswagen Group represents worldwide.

The Pune plant, where the new tech centre would be set up, has a manufacturing capacity of 200,000 cars per year.