Volkswagen to put Beetle on Indian roads by October

Geneva: Premium carmaker Volkswagen has finalised plans to launch the original 'people's car' Beetle in India by October this year. Following the Beetle, will be the Polo hatchback in early 2010.

Volkswagen PoloThe company will also continue with its plan to invest Rs3,600 crore in its Pune plant, keeping up with its earlier decision of augmenting its production capacity.

According to Volkswagen India,'s project head Ludwig Geerken, ''We have no plans to alter our decision to invest Rs3,600 crore in India,'' he said.

While the Polo will be made at the company's plant in Pune, the Beetle will be imported as a completely built unit from Mexico thereby making it a costly proposition for customers. The base version of the VW Beetle is sold in the European market for around 17,000 Euros.

However, in India with the car coming in through the CBU route customs duties and Indian road regulations could lead to the car being priced closer to Rs20 lakh, slotting  with luxury cars than a mid-priced one, let alone a people's car.

The VW Beetle may be available in India in only one 1.9-litre TDI diesel variant and would come equipped with rain sensors and cruise control, acoustic rear parking sensors and a host of safety features such as ABS, traction control, anti-skid system and front and side airbags. Unlike the original rear-engined vehicle, the Beetle variant for Indian roads will have a conventional front engine capable of achieving a maximum speed of 180km per hour.