Saturday, July 10, 2010

Volkswagen Vento - a C+ segment midsize sedan in India. Prices and details

Volkswagen India launches  mid-sized sedan segment Vento by fourth quarter of 2010, with expected price range of  Rs.7 - 10 lakh .Based on the successful Volkswagen Polo platform, Vento is the first car under  Volkswagen brand, tailor made for the Indian domestic market.

Vento means wind in both Italian and Portuguese.VW has a tradition of naming its models after prominent winds.After the launch of New Polo Hatchback in Indian Market Volkswagen is going to launch the sedan variant of New Polo to compete with the likes of Swift Dzire and SX4, Hyundai Verna, Fiat Linea, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Etios and Honda City. Outside India, Polo has a sedan variant called the Volkswagen Polo Classic, but for India Volkswagen has christened the Polo saloon as "Vento".

The interior is equipped with storage compartment in front doors for 1 litre Bottles, sunglass storage inside glove box, foldable roof handles with coat hooks, front and rear centre armrest, cupholders and “Livon” fabric upholstery are proof of the sure instinct of high design quality which interprets the classic elements of the Vento in a contemporary way. In exteriors too, the Vento offers Body colored bumpers, Chrome inlays in front grille, body coloured exterior door handles & mirrors (Highline), rough road package with increased ground clearance and partially zinc coated body with 6 years anti-rust warranty.

With regards to safety, the Vento Highline is equipped with ABS, Front Airbags for driver and co-driver, Anti Theft system with interior surveillance and back up alarm. On comfort, the Vento Highline offers CD MP3 Player with 4 speakers, Electrically adjustable outside mirrors, Climatronic automatic air conditioning with rear AC vents, Remote control for central locking. Multi function info display including door opening warning, height adjustable driving seats and a steering wheel adjustable for reach and rake which improves the drivability of the passenger. The Vento will establish a leadership position in its class with category defining attributes of space, style, comfort and safety. It will be manufactured at Volkswagen’s Chakan plant with an annual capacity of 110,000 cars and will be available through Volkswagen’s 47 dealerships across the country.

The Vento is a major release for Volkswagen Brand in India, where they intend to be a premium brand with premium products and do not intend to be in the price-sensitive segment. Vento, the C-segment sedan would even be pitted against models like Honda City, Toyota’s upcoming Etios sedan, Maruti Suzuki Dzire and  SX4, Hyundai Verna, Fiat Linea, Ford Fiesta, etc. Out of this, respectable premium competitors would be Honda City and Toyota Etios, for Volkswagen Vento. While Toyota is much ahead of Honda world over, in India, mostly due to exterior styling and early introduction, Honda commands an edge especially with Honda City, Civic and Accord. Volkswagen has clearly targeted the Fiat Linea to Honda City market segment as there is least competition there, with the Honda car managing to gain the maximum from this void. Many sources and websites claim, the drive, handling, interiors and exteriors of the Vento have been developed keeping in mind the Honda City.

Volkswagen, the largest European car-maker had earlier launched its much-anticipated hatchback, 'Polo', in the Indian market at a price ranging from Rs 4.34 to Rs 6.70 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).In Bangalore the top end model of Polo Highline cost 7.05 lakhs and 5 months booking period (data as of June 2010). The company has an order backlog of 10,000 for the Polo and has delivered 4,500 units in the last four months.Prevailing "Polo Classic sedan"(not available in India in this name) is shown in the picture.

Volkswagen Polo hatchback's wheelbase has been extended by an estimated 50mm for better legroom. Headroom too will be better as the roof doesn’t taper down as sharply as in the hatch. Using the Honda City as the Vento’s benchmark, VW engineers hint at best-in-class comfort with the use of special seat cushions to withstand prolonged use without compromising comfort. Boot space is expected to be in the region of 500 litres with a split seat option on offer.

The top model (Highline) of Volkswagen Vento comes fully loaded with following features:
  • Power Steering, Power Windows, Remote Central Locking System
  • CD MP3 Player with 4 speakers, Electrically adjustable outside mirrors
  • Climatronic automatic air conditioning with rear AC vents
  • Multi functon info display including door opening warning
  • Height adjustable driving seats plus steering wheel adjustment for reach and rake.
  • Dual SRS Airbags, ABS with EBD, Anti Theft System, Electronic Immobilizer
  • Alloy Wheels, Sunglass Storage Inside Glove-box
  • Front and Rear Seat Arm-rests in center
  • Livon Fabric Upholstery, Electronically Adjustable Outside Rear View Mirrors
  • Body Colored Bumpers, Fog Lamps, Body Colored Door handles & ORVM
According to different sources and websites, Volkswagen has invested 580 million euros on its Chakan plant, which has an annual production capacity of 1.1 lakh units. The facility also manufactures the 'Fabia' hatchback of group firm Skoda Auto. The new 'Vento' is the seventh model in India from Volkswagen's stable. The company currently offers compact cars 'Beetle' and 'Polo', premium sedans 'Phaeton', 'Passat' and 'Jetta', and sports utility vehicle 'Touareg' in the country. Just like the Polo, VW Vento will also be having a 50 per cent indigenisation in the initial phase and 70-80 per cent in the next few years. Currently, both the car’s engine and transmission, generally 35-40 per cent of a car’s cost, is imported from Germany.

Engine Specifications - Petrol
  • Displacement: 1598 cc, 4 cylinder, 8 valve
  • Engine Type: Petrol
  • Max.Power: 105bhp@5250 rpm
  • Max.Torque:153 Nm@3800 rpm
Volkswagen Vento Variants
  • Vento Trendline , Highline
  • Vento Diesel Trendline, Highline
Verdict:Currently the new Honda City leads a segment and established in India with almost no competition and hence sells at a very high cost, and without any frills. Competition from Toyota Etios and Volkswagen Vento would be apt, as these brands are highly valued the world over and could give tangible benefits of competition to the customers.Like Polo high end versions, Vento also will not be for people who look for value for money in a competitive car market. Given the Volkswagen branding and german assured quality, Vento is a solid car which could give a distinct prestige and statusquo for buyers who will shift their purchasing decision from Suzuki SX4, Fiat Linea Emotion, Hyundai Verna, Toyota Etios and Honda City.

1 comment:

  1. +ve: Customers with a "consumer surplus" and a budget of 7-11 lakhs will think twice before buying a Fiat Linea Emotion(it starts at 6.5 lakhs), korean or american branding. So, Volkswagen positioned and serviced well, could really attack the Toyota Etios and Honda city market.


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