2020 is the year to look forward to, because we're going to see a drastic change in the way the automobile industry in India will be looked at. To begin with, the new BS VI emission norms will come into effect in April 2020 and then strategies of various companies which will be worked on in the next couple of years will reach fruition and yes, there are a lot of products coming our way. Among the manufacturers who are taking some drastic measures to make it big in India is the Volkswagen Group.
The company, recently announced a 1 billion Euros investment into the country to make cars here which will achieve a localisation of close to 90 per cent. Currently the localisation content on the Polo, Vento is about 65 per cent while that on the Ameo is around 82 per cent. Pushing this barrier and achieving higher level of localisation will be the future products coming to India from the Volkswagen stable.
(The VW T-Roc will fill the gap between the T-Cross and the Tiguan)
It has already been announced that 2020 will see VW India bring in an SUV which will be manufactured in conjunction with Skoda Auto India. It will be a compact SUV and given the global trend of the segment, we didn't expect anything less. However, the question of course is, which one will make it to India? We expect the T-Cross and the T-Roc to make it to India, of course not in the same form or probably not even with the same name.
Also Read: VW, Skoda To Make-In India From 2020
The platform that Volkswagen will be using is the MQB A0 and this will spawn the highly localised SUVs for the country. We don't have to look far to find an example where the VW group has had to adapt to the local market. The Seat Arona in fact is based on the same platform and is an SUV similar(though longer) in proportions to the T-Cross. The Arona is based on a platform which also underpins the VW Polo and the Seat Ipiza hatchbacks and this is where the adaptability shows.
(The VW T-Cross is a compact SUV but it's likely that the company will enter the subcompact sUV segment with it)
The T-Cross measures in at around 4107mm in length and hence is not a subcompact SUV but according to CEO and Chairman of the Skoda Board, Bernhard Maier, there's no immediate reason for the company to enter the subcompact SUV segment in India and the cars that will be launched by Volkswagen and Skoda will be compact SUVs and the T-Cross fits the bill. The aggressive look of the car and the chunky bits on the wheel arches and also the strong shoulder line all point out towards the typical traits consumers look for in an SUV.
Also Read: Volkswagen T-Cross Teased
The T-Cross is based on the MQB platform and considering the level of investment the VW Group is making in India, well certain modifications will be made. We expect the suspension, axles, driveshafts to be sourced locally and don't forget that the quality of the interiors will be top-notch because the company is not ruling out exporting cars from the Indian market. But yes the car will come at a premium but we expect it to start just above the ₹ 10 lakh mark which puts it in the territory of the Hyundai Creta and even the Renault Captur, the former of which has achieved phenomenal success in the Indian market . Of course, you cannot rule out the Vision X based SUV from Skoda here because that's one car that's likely to make it to India too.
(With the Vision X as an idea, Skoda is likely to make its entry in the subcompact SUV segment in India)
The other car that is likely on the cards for the Indian market is the T-Roc. The T-Roc compact SUV comes with expressive design style, coupe-like roof section, strikingly wide front and sportily snappy proportions all of which the new Indian consumer is looking for. The T-Roc will bridge the gap between the T-Cross and the Tiguan (which is already on sale in the market and has had its fair share of success).
Also Read: Volkswagen T-Roc Revealed
The T-Roc is also based on the MQB platform and looks more like an off-roader because of the all-round, dark plastic trim, which protects the bodywork around the wheel arches and side sills, as well as the vehicle's front and rear. It even gets the all-wheel drive system and is in a league of its own when it comes to its driver assistance systems. Standard features on all T-Roc vehicles include-- Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, Lane Assist and Front Assist area monitoring system with Pedestrian Monitoring and City Emergency Braking. Now, don't forget that Skoda too will be bringing SUVs to India and the T-Roc will go up against the likes of the Karoq as well, so there's healthy competition making its way into the segment.
(The Skoda Karoq is also expected to hit Indian shores by 2020)
We can't wait for all those cars to come to us and also know more about the company's strategy for India considering it's planning to capture 5 per cent market share by 2025. Couple that to the advent of electric cars in India, and things start getting even more interesting. SUVs is the future then and VW Group looks to have a plan in place. 'Out with it already' we say!