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VW Vento a Honda City rival
Can the Vento dominate the premium mid-size segment in India
By : Swaraj Baggonkar | Published : May 04, 2010
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German car maker Volkswagen (VW) is looking to dislodge Honda’s dominance in the premium mid-size segment in India, with the launch of a new executive sedan in the second half of this year.


To be known as Vento, it is targeted primarily at the Honda City, which has been the segment’s best-seller since its launch in September 2008, clocking average sales of around 4,000 units monthly.

The new sedan is built on the same platform as the Polo, a premium hatchback launched by VW in February. The company will play the same strategy for the Vento as it has for the Polo, by positioning it in the premium category, in line with VW’s higher brand value in the country.

Pricing of the sedan is being kept under wraps by the company. However, industry sources say the Vento will be priced at Rs 9-10 lakh. Prices of the Honda City start at Rs 8.59 lakh for the base variant, with the fully loaded automatic variant costing Rs 11.04 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

“Volkswagen has clearly targeted the City segment as there is least competition there, with the Honda car managing to gain the maximum from this void. The drive, handling, interiors and exteriors of the Vento have been developed keeping in mind the City,” said the source.

The area where the VW sedan is expected to score over the Japanese counterpart is the diesel engine option to be offered on the Vento. Honda does not offer a diesel option on any of its cars. The Vento will be available in both diesel and petrol models, with the Polo’s 1.6-litre petrol engine due to be seen in the sedan, too.

Neeraj Garg, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India, said: “The way we were competitive when we launched the hatchback (Polo), similarly, we will be competitive in terms of value proposition and impact segment with the sedan. We are a premium brand with premium products and do not intend to be in the price-sensitive segment.”

This sedan from the German company, now among the top three car producing companies in the world, will be produced at VW’s new factory at Chakan, near Pune. This plant currently makes the Polo and Skoda’s Fabia.

While the Polo, with its limited localisation capabilities is available at Rs 4.45 lakh (higher than Maruti Swift and Ritz), the Vento, too, will be handicapped for similar reasons, as the engine and transmission, generally 35-40 per cent of a car’s cost, will have to be imported.

Honda Siel (HSCI), meanwhile, does not have anything planned for the City sedan this year in terms of refurbishments, as the company had added a new trim level to it just last year. HSCI had launched the 1.5V (in manual and automatic transmission). This new version got five-spoke alloy wheels, front fog lamps and beige fabric seats, among other features.

Other cars in the premium mid-size category include the Mitsubishi Lancer and Cedia, Chevrolet Optra Magnum and the Toyota Corolla Altis.

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  Posted by Prodosh Sen at 2nd February,2012
Honda City, with its stunning look and superb efficiency, scores well over Vento and most of it's comprtitors. Vento has a mundane design and lacks the 'class' of city. One can look at new Verna if looking for an option other than Honda City..
  Posted by Ashwani khosa at 27th December,2010
I want to buy a good car, pls. guide me which of two cars is better between honda city and vento petrol. pls. suggest soon.
  Posted by Bala at 18th October,2010
Really to Tell VW Vento cannot outperform City It has got just some looks But if u see City honda has an Performance too added to the looks.. Along with this..the Customer Service for VW is very poor when compared to any other premium brands in India..Myself along with my friends has been calling VW showroom for a fortnight but still they are too busy in sharing the requisite details
  Posted by Nikhil at 1st October,2010
Vento and polo look the same from outside, except for the boot on the vento. This is really sad because you are payin about 9 lakhs for a car which cannot be differentiated polo when you see both the cars from the front. Moreover styling is really bland on the sides. Expected a little bit more from volkswagen.
  Posted by s sudarsanan at 26th September,2010
I wiah to by a car in mid size segment like vento volkswagon but its side view looks very old with compare with honda city
  Posted by sudarsanan at 30th September,2010
  can you update the present model recently
  Posted by AYUSH KUMAR at 20th September,2010
recently ihave booked a vento..it has a loads of space at the back....the engine is very smooth that there is no noise audible....and the ride comfort is also good.....
  Posted by abhay jaiswal at 15th August,2010
wow.....thts a wonderfull car..its fullfill all segment...it compete all market valvu..
  Posted by KRISHNAN VENKATRAMAN at 13th August,2010
hi, seems and sounds good ...how about the price..when are you planning to show the demo of this car in places like chennai. waiting. please let me know .venks
  Posted by Sanjeev Kshirsagar at 12th August,2010
When the skoda octavia was launched in india..it too had similar sourcing issues...but still the petrol and diesel variants were launched at the same price....it is not surprising that the diesel TDI version outsold the petrol version of the car...but atleast it gave the volkswagen group a good headstart in india. The VW vento pricing for the diesel and petrol version has to be similarly priced...somewhere in the range of 7.5 lakhs to 8.5 lakhs ex-showroom for both the versions...so that it really kills the competition.
  Posted by Kallesh Patil at 14th July,2010
I am eager to know the technical specifications of the Engine, also would like to know the ground clearance and Mileage in city and on Highways to enjoy long run.
  Posted by vikas parakh at 30th June,2010
kindly tell the price
  Posted by RAJU V SUNGAR at 4th June,2010
SIr,Regarding the Interior Space,Height,and lenght,and also features.waiting for your reply. Thank you.
  Posted by kedar waikar at 22nd May,2010
I am eager to see new model of VW. As this model looks well competitive to Honda city and toyoto sedans as well. At last it is "German Engineering, made by Indian Hands"
  Posted by sandeep at 7th May,2010
will b great if vw can bring tsi engines on vento
  Posted by Jim Gorde at 6th May,2010
Nice. 1.2 diesel or Euro-spec 1.6 kick-ass diesel?? Oo
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