The future communicator
VOLKSWAGEN IN INDIA
In just 4 years since Volkswagen (VW) set up its India operations, it had captured a 3.6% market share - something the Detroit giants had not been able to do after more than a decade in the country (Exhibit 1). VW was the flagship brand of the Volkswagen group, which also owned Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, and
Skoda. In India, the group was present with Skoda, Audi, and VW.1 Maik Stephan, Managing Director, Volkswagen
Group Sales India said:
While three brands give us the collective power, we have to be careful to market them uniquely so that we are not chasing the same customer.i
In 2011, the group’s worldwide revenues and net profit were Euro 159 billion and 15.8 …show more content…
Subsequent brands - Laura and Superb were even more premium and since they were diesel engines, they were more expensive than their Japanese petrol-engine counterparts. John Chacko, Group
President and MD, VW Group Sales India said:
Our priority is to get the core brand - Volkswagen sorted out and then the other brands will fall into place. For instance, after Polo was launched, the price of Skoda Fabia was revised downwards.iii VW believed in engineering excellence. It pioneered ‘‘turbocharged diesel injection’’ (TDI) which provided fuel economy and BlueMotion Technologies which enabled energy efficiency. 3 It had obsessive focus on quality. For instance, the bumpers had seven layers of paint (most carmakers had four); it welded all the points on the dashboard simultaneously to leave no room for misalignment (this required more machines; other carmakers welded the points sequentially). VW combined engineering excellence with local market insights to crack open the emerging markets.
Each year, the product planning team in VW engaged with 200 consumers in a freewheeling chat. Product Head Product Planning & Training, VW Group Sales India said:
When you sit in the consumer’s drawing room, you get a flavor of his life. You can see whether he prefers a Samsung or a Sony or an LG. You can gauge his tastes and lifestyle.
VW research showed that a consumer bought a car for three motives.