The Volkswagen Polo has made its presence known in India.
Eagerly awaited by the Indian market, the Polo will now be available in showrooms by March 2010. Volkswagen is not the only car-maker to venture into the Indian market, Nissan, Ford and General Motors have also taken the plunge and started manufacturing their cars in India.
The Chakan factory has an annual capacity of around 110,000 cars and Volkswagen claims it to be the most state of the art amongst the Volkswagen group worldwide. The plant was set up with an initial investment of 580 million Euros and is also one of the largest investments done by a German company in India. It is also the only car manufacturing factory that is operated by the Germans that includes the entire range of the production process from the press shop, body and paint shop to the assembly.
Large automakers like Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford and Nissan have now awoken to the fact that Indian consumers prefer small affordable cars rather than the huge luxury models that sell well elsewhere. I think that Volkswagen have taken a huge step to cater to the Indian market, but I'm starting to wonder whether the Polo's in Singapore will come from the same factory in India. If that does happen, it is possible that the price may go down due to the lower cost of production.
However, we all know that whenever a car company outsources their production process to other countries like Thailand for instance in the case of Honda and Toyota, the quality has never really been the same as when they were originally produced in Japan. The standard set by the Polo from South Africa is the benchmark and I do hope that the Polo will be equally good wherever its made.