Volkswagen India has marked the first anniversary of its Chakan, Pune, plant and completion of the 10,000th car by confirming the previously announced intention to add a second shift.
Local chief Joerg Mueller said: “With the remarkable figure of 10,000, we have proved that the cars built at the Pune plant demonstrates the excellence created when German engineering prowess interacts perfectly with Indian skills. Taking the next step, as planned, we are introducing the second shift of production within the next three months.”
Pune so far builds the VW Polo and Skoda Fabia. It’s a full production factory with press, body and paint shops feeding through to final assembly and has maximum annual capacity of 110,000 vehicles. There are currently 1,500 employees and that will rise to around 2,500 by the end of this year.
Mueller added: “I am very happy at achieving an impressive figure of 10,000 in the first year itself; especially during the ramp-up phase of the plant. On this occasion, I would also like to reiterate that we are extremely happy with our vendors in India and our first ‘Made in India’ [VW] car, the Polo, offers the same quality and service than any other Polo produced globally.”
The EUR580m investment to date makes the plant the largest investment to date by a German company in India.
VW last week said it would add the new Polo sedan to the Indian line, badging it the Vento. The model, also confirmed for Russia as a Polo, will be built in Pune.
Volkswagen Group has operated in India for about a decade, beginning with Skoda. It added Volkswagen and Audi in 2007 and now sells 17 models – locally made and fully imported – through 120 dealers.