In a newly launched initiative, named India, 2.0, VW Group is investing 1bn (US$1.1bn) in R&D in the Indian market between 2019 and 2021. The project, which will be led by Škoda Auto and Škoda Auto India will see the establishment of a new center for developing vehicles in the country.
Škoda Auto CEO Bernhard Maier, said, “Experts predict that in the next few years India is going to become the third-largest automotive market worldwide. With our India 2.0 project we are now creating the right conditions for sustainable growth there. Our objective is ambitious, but achievable: together with the Volkswagen brand, we are seeking a market share of up to 5% in the long term, depending on market and segment development.”
Gurpratap Boparai, MD of Škoda Auto India, added, “With the India 2.0 project, Škoda Auto and Volkswagen Group are in an excellent position to optimally confront the dynamics of the Indian car market. In India, we will offer top-class products at prices that amount to a paradigm shift in the automotive industry. We will manufacture the new products locally based on the heavily localized MQB A0 platform, which already fulfills the stricter emission and safety standards that are expected to come into force in India in 2020.”
In the first phase of India 2.0, Škoda Auto will develop the sub-compact MQB A0 platform with a focus on India (MQB-A0-IN). In the second phase, Škoda will assess the possibility of exporting vehicles manufactured in India. Škoda and Volkswagen will develop several products based on this platform. The campaign will begin in 2020 with an SUV. Technical development of the new products will predominantly take place in India, creating new jobs in the area.