Volkswagen, Europe's largest car maker unveiled its 2010 European Car of the Year and much awaited premium hatchback the new Polo at the New Delhi Auto Expo today.
The German carmaker, which had an impressive growth figure of 66 per cent in sales in India from January to October 2008, which hopes to capture 10 per cent of the Indian auto market in four years, also showcased the Race Polo for the Volkswagen Polo Cup that will commence in India with the inaugural race event in June 2010.
As of 2009, there have been five separate generations of the Polo, usually recognised by a "Series" or "Mark" number and some Polo models from the 1970s and 1980s used the emblem of the city of Wolfsburg, where it is headquartered, on the steering wheel hub rather than the normal Volkswagen logo seen today.
The company, which is acquiring a 19.9-per cent stake in Suzuki, (See: VW acquires 19.9-per cent stake in Suzuki for $2.5 billion) will begin selling the Polo in India in March and will launch the sedan version on the same platform in the second half of this year.
Volkswagen had invested around 580 million euros (Rs3,800 crore) in the Chakan facility near Pune-the largest investment to date by a German company in India and the Polo, a five-seat, five-door, upper-end compact hatchback, will be competing with the likes of the Hyundai i20, Maruti's Swift and Ritz, and the Tata Indica Vista.
With the Polo, Volkswagen is looking to tap the compact car category, which is the most happening segment in the domestic automobile market. The Indian passenger vehicle market is estimated to reach 3.5 million units by 2015. At present, it is the 11th largest in the world.