The future communicator Essay

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IMB 443

In just 4 years since Volkswagen (VW) set up its India operations, it had captured a 3.6% market share - something the Detroit giants had not been able to do after more than a decade in the country (Exhibit 1). VW was the flagship brand of the Volkswagen group, which also owned Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, and
Skoda. In India, the group was present with Skoda, Audi, and VW.1 Maik Stephan, Managing Director, Volkswagen
Group Sales India said:
While three brands give us the collective power, we have to be careful to market them uniquely so that we are not chasing the same customer.i
In 2011, the group’s worldwide revenues and net profit were Euro 159 billion and 15.8 …show more content…

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Volkswagen in India

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Jetta was launched in 1983 and Phaeton in 2002. Thereafter, New Beetle was launched to recreate the magic of the original Beetle.
The group entered India in 2001 with Skoda. Its plant in Aurangabad assembled a few models of Audi and
Volkswagen as well. Audi and Volkswagen were launched in India in 2004 and 2007, respectively. In 2010, a stateof-the-art production facility was set up at Chakan near Pune with an investment of Rs. 35 billion to manufacture Polo and Vento indigenously. The plant also manufactured Skoda Fabia and Skoda Rapid as they were built on the Polo platform. Despite sharing common product platforms, the three brands were distinctly positioned.
Skoda was positioned as less premium than VW which was positioned as more premium than even Honda and
Toyota. Audi was positioned at par with BMW and Mercedes in the luxury category (see Exhibit 2 for positioning of various players). While the group integrated the back-end of technology, human resource, and finance across the three brands, the front-end of dealers was scrupulously kept separate.
Despite its careful planning, there existed an anomaly. Skoda was perceived to be a more up-market label than VW in
India. This was owing to Skoda’s history in India. Skoda was launched in 2001 with the Octavia, a premium car.

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