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Volkswagen to set up design centre in Pune

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“Higher capacity, new models on anvil’

German auto major Volkswagen (VW) Group is planning to expand production capacity and set up a design centre in Chakan near Pune, said a top official.

“We are planning to increase production capacity [in the Pune plant] marginally, from 1.8 lakh units to 2 lakh units per annum,” said Steffen Knapp, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars. “Besides, we will increase the localisation level, [from] 82% to about 90% in a year.”

Mr. Knapp said unveiling new models and having a regional celebrity as brand ambassador were other initiatives planned to pep up market share.

VW would be investing ₹8,000 crore, in phases, in the design centre, development of new models and other activities, he said.

The group is targeting to achieve a 5% market share in India by 2025, from the current 1.8%, across brands.

For the Volkswagen brand, it aims to raise the share to 3% in five years, Mr. Knapp added.

Asked about the forthcoming releases, he said Volkswagen would roll out a sport utility vehicle. The MQB platform, which was introduced with the Tiguan and Passat, is the future of the product portfolio for the company in India.

Mentioning that about 90% Volkswagen car buyers in India were first time car owners, the firm was focussing on loyalty programmes to retain its customers.

Currently, Volkswagen has 121 dealers across 104 cities in India and it was planning to increase the number of touch points.