The Volkswagen Virtus competes in the premium midsize sedan segment and aims to regain some of the territory lost to the SUV segment.
Volkswagen Virtus started its India journey on a strong note with 3,000 of the 4,000 bookings made before the June 9 launch and another 3,000 bookings received in the entire last month. Competing in the challenging space of mid-size sedans that have seen volumes shrink in recent years, the Virtus is part of Volkswagen’s India 2.0 project.
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Volkswagen has accelerated the move under Project India 2.0 since its launch Taigun mid-size SUV last year. Taigun and Virtus are the two solid pillars on which the company’s prospects are based here. And while Volkswagen claims the Taigun continues to perform well, the Virtus has also been well received. “At launch we had about 4,000 pre-bookings, we were able to convert 3,000 of them into bookings. In June, we collected another 3,000 new orders. I will have an order bank of 2-2.5 months for 5,000-5,500 in July,” said Ashish Gupta, Brand Director, Volkswagen India while talking to HT Auto. “It bodes very well in terms of response to the car. , truly stunning and more than we expected.”
Gupta admits that playing sedan in India is tough, but adds that the lack of strong competition in the segment is helping the model. “We had natural apprehensions when we introduced the sedan as the second product in the India 2.0 strategy. An SUV is a choice of body type. But the sedan (segment) has become a blind spot for the industry and this is an opportunity that Virtus is going to exploit as there is no strong competition in this segment,” he explained.
|Volkswagen Virtus: prices||Dynamic line||Performance line|
|Comfortline MT||₹11.21 lakh|
|Highline MT||₹12.97 lakhs|
|Highline AT||₹14.27 lakhs|
|Topline MT||₹14.41 lakh|
|The top line of the AT||₹15.71 lakh|
|all prices are introductory and
For now, the two-pronged strategy of midsize SUV and midsize sedan seems to be working, because Volkswagen doubled its sales figures in the first half of the year this year compared to the same period last year. And Gupta believes the rising popularity of premium cars should keep Volkswagen in good shape. “According to the booking trends, 40% of the bookings are for Virtus for the GT variant and 60% for the 1-litre variants, and even within that, demand is higher for the top-end variant,” Gupta revealed. “If you look at the trend of how premiumization moved into the Indian market, in the first half of this year almost 40% of the cars sold in India are priced around 10 lakhs. This is twice as much as in 2018. It is very obvious that premiumization because the Indian market is on the way.”
But while potential customers may be willing to pay more for a loaded and premium car, can brands deliver units in the current shortage of components? Gupta admits that Volkswagen can deliver more than it does now, but global challenges are an obstacle. “I have the potential and demand to be able to sell 5,500 to 6,000 cars a month, but I can only supply 3,500 to 4,000 units. It’s a clear 40 percent gap between what’s in demand and what we can sell,” he admits. “That’s just because of the individual components – the lack of infotainment systems, digital instrument clusters and, to some extent, electronic control units. , which are installed in the car. , and this is a global situation.”
Gupta, however, sees the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel with some of the numbers that make up Q4. At the same time, Volkswagen says the focus remains on maintaining transparency and providing customers with realistic timelines.
Date of first publication: Jul 4, 2022, 10:59 am IST