Devendra Fadnavis, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, yesterday formally opened the Volkswagen engine assembly plant and a self-contained engine testing facility at its Chakan plant in Pune.
The German car maker has invested Rs.240 crore in establishing the new plant, which corroborates its commitment towards India, said a press statement. The plant has come up on a total floor space of 3,450 square meters within the premises of its existing factory. It took only just 11 months for VW to complete the work of the new plant, much of the efforts and expertise coming from its facilities in Salzgitter in Germany and Polkowice, Poland, noted the statement. The new facility at Pune is likely to provide employment to over 260 persons and more human resources would be absorbed at the manufacturing facilities of its vendors across the country, who will supply key components for the production of engines. The new employees who were inducted for the engine production plant got hands-on training at VW’s Polkowice facility as well as through Profi-rooms, established at the Pune manufacturing facility.
VW is serious about maintaining its global standards at all its facilities in India as well. As part of achieving its goal, each and every engine is undergoing rigorous tests before it is released for assembly into the car. The most modern testing facility has a gamut of equipment such as a cold test station, a hot test bench and an engine dynamometer, apart from an extensive test laboratory.
When it reaches critical mass, the Engine Assembly Plant will have a capacity to assemble in exccess of 98,000 engines a year in a three shift system. The 1.5L TDI engine will be produced for two different power levels – 90 PS and 105 PS peak power.
Fadnavis said: “Volkswagen is one of the top car manufacturers in the world and they have brought their German Engineering to India. I am glad to see that the company is committed to their production operations in Chakan in Pune and is investing further for increasing manufacturing here even in difficult market situations. It is really encouraging to see that Volkswagen is creating so many jobs in this industrial belt.”
Subhash Desai, Minister for Industries, Government of Maharashtra, said: “We are delighted to see the export activities undertaken by Volkswagen India. These are a clear proof that India and the workforce here are capable to deliver first-class products across the world.”
Mahesh Kodumudi, Chief Representative, Volkswagen Group India and President and Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Limited, pointed out: “The new Engine Assembly Plant including the Engine Testing Facility is our very first in India and emphasizes our commitment to offer technology that is best suited to the requirements of the local market. The 1.5-litre TDI engine was specially developed for the Indian needs and is now being assembled locally too. With this step, we take an important step towards achieving our long term goal of increasing local content.” He further added, “Through the local development and local assembly of engines, we are committed to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government. We are also creating more job opportunities and supplier development in and around Chakan – something that we have been committed to since we first set up the Volkswagen Plant here in 2009.”
The latest investment by Volkswagen India in the Chakan Plant takes the company’s total investment to almost 710 million euro. The manufacturing facility started its operations in March 2009 and has rolled out over 450,000 cars for the Indian market as well as over 32 export markets across three continents. Currently, the Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Vento and ŠKODA Rapid are being manufactured here. The Pune Plant operates with a total manpower of approximately 3200 employees (Direct and Indirect).
With its headquarters in Pune, Maharashtra, the Volkswagen Group is represented by five passenger car brands in India: Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, ŠKODA, and Volkswagen. The Volkswagen Group has been present in India for the last 14 years and began its India journey with the entry of the ŠKODA brand in 2001. The Audi brand and Volkswagen brand entered India in 2007, while Porsche brand and Lamborghini brand followed in 2012. Each brand has its own character and operates as an independent entity in the market. Volkswagen Group India has over 25 models in India and 262 dealerships and is operating through two plants – Pune and Aurangabad. The Pune Plant has a manufacturing capacity of 130,000 cars per year (in current two-shift system) and is currently manufacturing Volkswagen Polo and Vento and ŠKODA Rapid. The Aurangabad Plant caters to various premium and luxury models of Audi, ŠKODA and Volkswagen sold in India and has an annual capacity of approximately 89,000. Volkswagen Group India is a part of Volkswagen AG, which is globally represented by 12 brands – Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche, Scania, SEAT, ŠKODA, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge), MAN and Volkswagen Passenger Cars.