The one millionth car rolled out of its assembly line at the Volkswagen Plant in Pune on April 19. The car, a Volkswagen Carbon Steel Ameo, rolled off the line in presence of Gurpratap Boparai, managing director, Volkswagen India and Steffen Knapp, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India. Some of VW India’s top management and the employees who have been part of the production department since the Volkswagen Pune Plant was set up in 2009 were also present. The Ameo, conceived as a made-for-India car, considering the local customer and market requirements.
The first car that rolled of the production line was the Skoda Fabia. By 2010, Volkswagen started producing three more models here – the VW Polo, Vento and the Skoda Rapid. Volkswagen initially set up this to cater to the Indian market. However, they had started exporting cars to various other markets, beginning with South Africa in 2012. Mexico subsequently went on to become one of the most important destinations for the made in India cars. The Vento became the highest selling Volkswagen in that market.
Today, more than 4,00,000 cars manufactured from the Volkswagen Pune Plant. VW exports these cars to more than 50 different countries in Asia, Africa, North America and South America.
The Volkswagen Group is further strengthening its commitment and hold in the market through its regional project INDIA 2.0. The focus of this project is to develop more cars that are relevant to the requirements of the Indian market. The Volkswagen Group is investing 1 billion Euros (Rs 8,000 crore) in this project. They have already set up a Technology Centre at the Pune Plant to start local development.
Speaking on the occasion, Gurpratap Boparai, managing director, Volkswagen India said, “Volkswagen India’s production facility is a global benchmark in quality and technological advancement in manufacturing. It has remained the backbone of our growth narrative in India. On behalf of the entire management, I congratulate the team at Volkswagen India. They have worked relentlessly on achieving this milestone today.”
“The roll-out of the 1 millionth car is an important milestone for us in our long term commitment to the Indian market. We are building further on this milestone and working towards higher localisation. We are also ramping up production and manufacturing world-class products for the country and several other markets around the world in the future,” he added.
Steffen Knapp, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars commented, “The one millionth roll-out of a Volkswagen car line is a testament of our strong brand equity in India. We dedicate this milestone to all our employees, customers and strong network that they have created for the growth of our brand in India. With this achievement, we look forward to many more such milestones. We’re fully commited towards creating a stronger product portfolio and heightening customer experience in the years to come.”