Volkswagen opens new plant in Pune, India
Written by Ganesh   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009
Maximum annual production capacity of 110,000 vehicles

Pune - The Governor of Maharashtra State in Western India, Shri. S. C. Jamir, and Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft with responsibility for ‘Group Production’, officially opened the new Volkswagen Group’s plant in India on Tuesday in the presence of some 500 international guests. For Volkswagen, the new production facility in Pune is a major stepping stone towards achieving its ambitious growth targets on the Indian subcontinent.

The Pune plant will begin building the Skoda Fabia compact car in May 2009. Production of a hatchback version of the Volkswagen Polo specially developed for the Indian market will be added from 2010. With a total financial commitment in India amounting to 580 million euros, the Pune plant represents the largest investment to date by a German company in the country. The facility has a maximum annual production capacity of 110,000 vehicles destined for delivery to the Indian market.

Largest investment by German company to date in Indian growth market

"With the start of production at our new plant in Maharashtra State, the Volkswagen Group has conclusively arrived on India’s emerging market. Thanks to the local production of Volkswagen and Skoda models in Pune, we will benefit even more from enormous growth on the Indian automobile market in future," Heizmann said at the opening ceremony.

Despite the impact of the financial and economic crisis the desire for individual mobility in India remains high. Experts predict that the Indian automobile market will grow from the present 1.2 million vehicles to over 2 million vehicles by 2014. The Volkswagen Group has already been building Skoda, Volkswagen and Audi models at its plant in Aurangabad since 2001. In addition to expanding production capacity, the Group is also investing in an efficient Indian supplier industry and in expanding its dealer network across the country.

At the opening ceremony, Jörg Müller, President and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group India, underscored the significance of the new factory in the Chakan industrial park: "Volkswagen and its cars are already visible testimony to ‘mobility – made in India’. So I am all the more delighted that our new plant in Pune sends a clear signal for the further development of our brands in India and for the people in this region."

The Pune plant is one of the most modern in the Volkswagen Group. It has a high level of vertical integration and a large share of local suppliers. The facility is the only production plant operated by a German automaker in India that covers the entire production process from press shop through body shop and paint shop to final assembly.

Volkswagen plans to employ some 2,500 people at the Pune plant by the end of 2010. The investment agreement to build the new plant was signed in November 2006 – just over two years before today’s inauguration ceremony.

In 2008, the Volkswagen Group produced 6.347 million vehicles worldwide, some 66.2 percent (4.201 million) of which were built outside Germany. The Pune plant is the 61st in the worldwide production network of the nine-brand Group.

To mark the opening of the new plant, Jörg Müller presented an ambulance to the Red Cross hospital in Pune and announced that Volkswagen India would support a local primary school.

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