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The first unit of the Ameo, Volkswagen’s sub-four metre sedan, went into production and rolled off the line today at its plant in Chakan, Pune. VW is pretty late in jumping on to the sub-four metre bandwagon, but sales in this segment are still strong and they may just be able to grab a slice of the cake.
The Chakan plant, where the VW group manufactures the Polo, Vento and the Rapid, now adds the Ameo to its production line. With the addition of the Ameo to the line, the plant now produces 500 units a day, out of which 150 units are of the Ameo itself and in order to cope with the ramping up of production, the factory now runs a third shift. According to VW officials, the Chakan plant is now reaching production capacity.
It makes sense for VW to build this car alongside the Polo — it is underpinned by the same PQ25 platform. And it gets the same engines as the Polo as well — a 1.2-litre, three cylinder petrol engine and the 1.5-litre TDI engine. The TDI comes with the option to be mated to VW’s 7-speed DSG gearbox.
VW is pinning a lot of hope on the Ameo. Sales in 2015 were 2 per cent less than what they were in 2014, owing to a dip in sales after the diesel scandal came to light towards the end of the year. But they plan on growing by 15 per cent this year and have high hopes for the Ameo. There are no plans to export the Ameo yet, and being a right-hand drive car, options to export it are limited anyway. (VW’s biggest export market at the moment is Mexico where they send left-hand drive Ventos).
VW officials say that sales will begin ‘mid year’, i.e. sometime in the next month or two. Bookings for the car have already begun two weeks ago at dealerships across the country.