Sunday, January 24, 2010
VW and Suzuki Reportedly Planning to Develop $4300-$5300 Low Cost Small Car for India and Europe
The newly forged Volkswagen Group - Suzuki alliance plans to develop a new low cost small car for India as well as Europe and other markets, the Economic Times reported on Friday. The business daily said that the new vehicle, which will act as a replacement for Suzuki's Alto, would cost between 200,000 and 250,000 rupees in India, which comes to about $4,300 - $5,300 or €2,900 - €3,600 at today's exchange rates.
This means that the projected price for the VW/Suzuki model, is double the price of Tata Motor's Nano, which is the world's cheapest automobile.
"We will need a car in the Rs 2.5-lakh apiece range. First we had the M800, then the Alto. At some point we will need a replacement for the Alto. That price range is the entry level for Indian customers today, so we can't leave that segment open," Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava told the newspaper.
The Economic Times reported that in Europe, the car would fit right under Volkswagen's forthcoming Up! model.
"Volkswagen will be greatly interested in a car below the price segment of the Up, which we have already displayed in India, and that is something we will need to check in our future together with Suzuki," VW spokesman, Fabian Mannecke, told ET.
The newspaper added that in Europe, the VW/Suzuki small car would be priced well under the still under development Up! (which it claims will carry a price tag of around $8,800 or €6,000 in Old Continent), at around $4,000 to $5,000 or €2,700 to €3,400.
We're assuming that ET made some sort of typo in the price range as there's no way that the VW / Suzuki small car will be priced lower in Europe that in India.
And while Tata Motors proves that everything's possible in India, somehow we find it hard to believe that the two automakers will be able to develop a car that meets the strict emissions and crash standards in Europe and at the same time carry a price tag of around €3,000...