VW starts local assembly for Passat launch in September

The Indian arm of German auto maker Volkswagen AG has commenced the local assembly of its new generation Passat luxury sedan in India. The 2017 Volkswagen Passat is being assembled at the Volkswagen Group's assembly unit in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

The eighth-generation Passat was unveiled globally in July 2014. In February 2017, Volkswagen had confirmed that car would be launched by the end of the year.

The company had earlier launched the Passat in India back in 2011 but discontinued it in 2013.

For Volkswagen Cars India, this is the second vehicle that's being assembled locally this year. Earlier, the company began the local assembly of its Tiguan SUV.

Volkswagen Passat will also be the first sedan for the company to be based on the MQB platform in India and is expected to make its market debut in November 2017. It will share its platform with the Skoda Superb that is also being manufactured at the same assembly facility.

The eight-generation Volkswagen Passat made its global debut in 2014 and the plug-in hybrid – Passat GTE was also showcased in India at the 2016 Auto Expo.

The car boasts a completely new design from the previous generation Passat and according to commentators, looks more aggressive and modern. Volkswagen has also managed to reduce the weight of the car by about 80kg and claims it to be more spacious than previous models. It gets an extended wheelbase by about 79 mm and is also 2 mm shorter in length.

Steffen Knapp, director, passenger cars, Volkswagen Group, said, ''We are happy to bring back one of our most successful premium luxury products to the Indian market, the Volkswagen Passat. With the introduction of the Passat we extend our portfolio, encompassing a wide variety of products from a hatchback to a luxury sedan.

''The Passat exudes style, timeless design, exemplary performance, and is symbolic of a luxurious lifestyle. We are proud to introduce this car with an iconic heritage to the Indian market.''

The Passat will have get a 2.0 litre TDI, 177 PS engine mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic gearbox. Initially only the 4-cylinder diesel version will be available here. The company has not shared any plans to bring in a petrol engine on its latest sedan.

The Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in-hybrid that was showcased in 2016 is unlikely to come to India any time soon.