The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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VW to drive in with Sharan

New Delhi, Nov. 30: German auto major Volkswagen is preparing to enter the Indian market with Sharan — a mini-van-like multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) and the new Beetle.

Both the cars will be imported through Kashyap Motors — the authorised dealers for BMW — who are planning to open a new showroom in Noida for the Volkswagen imports.

Sharan, the 7-seater MPV, competes with Ford Galaxy, Toyota Verso, Chrysler Voyager and Renault Espace in the international market. It is offered internationally, loaded with a number of engine variants from 1.8l manual transmission, 1.9l turbo diesel engine and also 2-litre petrol engine.

Rajinder Kashyap, managing director of Kashyap Motors said: “Sharan and Beetle have been found most suitable for the import market in India. While Beetle is to be brought from Volkswagen’s Argenitinian plant, Sharan will come from Germany. In India there is a niche market for seven to eight seaters. But buyers want a label which commands a higher premium than Maruti or Toyota.”

He added that this clientele would prefer value and exclusivity, which Sharan will offer them on Indian roads, rather than bother about the pricing. They will hardly go for mass produced MPVs. “So we have zeroed in on Sharan as the Volkswagen’s entry car in India as they do not want to invest in a manufacturing facility here right now,” he added.

The MPV market in India has got only one offering — Maruti’s Versa which is yet to prove a major success. However, Fiat is testing the water with its Doblo and Hyundai is eyeing this segment with Carens launch. But both these cars will be marketed within a price band of Rs 10-15 lakh and is certainly not pitted against Sharan, which is billed as a premium MPV priced between Rs 35-40 lakh depending on the engine ordered.

Beetle, Volkswagen’s other import entry in the market, will be priced at around Rs 25-30 lakh in India.

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