Volkswagen seeks tax sops for safer, fuel efficient cars

German car manufacturer Volkswagen is seeking amendment of tax policies by the Indian government to help players lay emphasis on safety, fuel and emission efficiency, media reports said.

The existing tax policies in the country are based on vehicle size, whereby sedans which are more than 4 metre in length attract 20 per cent excise duty, according to the company.

DNA newspaper quoted Michael Mayer, director, Volkswagen Passenger cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt Ltd, as saying that India was already a part of the company's global plans.

He said it was not just about making in India but about the role that India could play in exporting to other countries. The company, he said, saw clear signs of the business environment improving, not only for the local market but also for exports market. He was speaking on the sidelines of the re-launch event of the Jetta sedan yesterday.

The Volkswagen Jetta currently has a market share of 10 per cent and the company aimed to grow sales at 3-4 per cent going forward in line with the segment growth. The company expects a market share of 10-15 per cent going forward.

The company's Aurangabad plant where the Jetta is assembled has an annual capacity of 89,000 units, while Volkswagen Polo and Vento are assembled at the Chakan plant that has a capacity 130,000 units.

Meanwhile, PTI reported that Volkswagen, which launched a new version of its premium sedan Jetta yesterday, said the company would be focusing on increasing the profitability of its dealerships and did not have plans to expand the network this year.

The company launched five models of its popular sedan Jetta in petrol and diesel versions in 2-litre and 1.4-litre engines with six-speed dual-clutch transmission available with the diesel models.

The new models cost Rs30,000 more but come with added safety features, including six air bags.

The new Jetta, positioned against the Skoda Octavia from the VW group, carries a price tag in the range of Rs13.87 lakh to Rs20.17 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai, is available with dealers from today.

Mayer told PTI at the launch event that the company was not adding any more dealerships this year. He said the focus was to increase the profitability of each of the company's 120 dealers, because only then he could expect them to build his brand.

Mayer declined to reveal the number of models the company planned to launch this year.