Volkswagen Group plans to merge all their passenger cars companies in India, they are: Volkswagen India Private Ltd (VWIPL), Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Ltd (NSC) and SKODA AUTO India Private Ltd (SAIPL).
The operation has already been considered and approved by the Boards of the three companies, but it is still subjet to regulatory and statutory autorisations.
The proposed merger is framed into the restructuring process that the german automotive group is carrying out in this asian country and a significant milestone in the ŠKODA-led ‘INDIA 2.0’ project and aims to, not only sustainably strengthen the Volkswagen Group’s position in India by increasing efficiency in existing synergies, but also aims to export vehicles buitl in this asian country. In fact, ŠKODA AUTO takes over the steering responsibility of the Volkswagen Group in India.
Five independent brands under one steering hand surnamed Boparai
The Volkswagen Group brands, viz. Volkswagen, ŠKODA, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini, will maintain their individual identities, dealer network and customer experience initiatives. However, the brands will work under the leadership of Gurpratap Boparai (Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Ltd and SKODA AUTO India Private Ltd) with a common strategy for the Indian market.
“India is an important and an attractive growth market for the Volkswagen Group. With the proposed merger, we intend to combine the technical and managerial expertise of the three companies to unlock the Volkswagen Group’s true potential in India’s competitive automotive market. The integration will lead to coordinated and faster decision making and increased efficiency using existing synergies.”
Employees at work in a SKODA factory in India. © Volkswagen Group
Nearly in hos 50’s Gurpratap Boparai took on the reins as managing Director of SKODA Auto India in February 2018. Boparai left Fiat India Automobiles Ltd., where he was the CEO, to join Volkswagen Group in India.
Developing the INDIA 2.0 project
In July 2018, the Volkswagen Group confirmed investments of INR 8,000 crore (EUR 1Bn) in the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project. In January 2019 the Technology Center was opened in Pune, laying the foundation for the development of products based on the localised sub-compact MQB-A0-IN platform tailored to the needs of customers in the Indian subcontinent. In the second phase of the project, Volkswagen Group will be examining the possibility of exporting vehicles built in India.
The Volkswagen Group commissioned ŠKODA AUTO to evaluate a global architecture for volume segments with the modular MQB A0 IN system. ŠKODA’s strategic approach is to launch this localized platform on the Indian market by 2020 when more stringent crash and emissions standards come into force. Once complyant with the new standards, vehicles manufactured in India may look at other overseas markets where stricter safety and emmissions standards are alreacy in force.
Image over the headline.- Gurpratap Boparai (Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Ltd and SKODA AUTO India Private Ltd). © SKODA India.