Michael Mayer(L),Director, and Jurgen Stackmann,Board member for Sales and Marketing. Volkswagen Group Sales India Ltd,at the launch of New Volkswagen Ameo car in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
German carmaker Volkswagen made its entry into the compact sedan segment on Sunday with the Ameo, sparking a possible price battle with the segment leader, Maruti Suzuki’s Dzire.
At an ex-showroom, Thane, price of Rs 5.14 lakh, the Ameo is cheaper than the Dzire priced at Rs 5.52 lakh. This is the first all-new model launch by Volkswagen in India after several years, after a struggle to go beyond its Polo and Vento models.
It will be available in showrooms from next month. In the sub-four metre sedan segment, the Dzire has 55 per cent market share. The Volkswagen sedan will also be competing against the Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze and Tata Zest..
Michael Mayer, director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India said, “Today is a very special day for Volkswagen in India as we introduce our first ever made-for-India carline Volkswagen Ameo. Through the Ameo we are confident of cementing Volkswagen’s string presence in the compact segment and further expand Volkswagen India family.”
The German car brand, which has promised to recall 198,000 cars in India from next month to fix emission-related software flaws on diesel models, will launch the Ameo only with a petrol engine for now.
A diesel version will debut during the festive period later this year. The Ameo diesel will feature the same 1.5-litre engine which is part of the massive recall announced by the company. Ameo will be available across showrooms starting next month.
The petrol variant of the Ameo comes with a 1.2 litre, 74 bhp engine, which is not the most powerful of the lot. The same engine in seen on the Polo and Vento.
Leaving no stones unturned VW has armed the Ameo with all the bells and whistles to take on the competition. All variants will come with dual front airbags and ABS (anti-lock braking system), a first in the segment. Besides cruise control, rain sensing wipers, anti-pinch power windows, front centre armrest and a static corner lights are a first in the segment.
The Ameo is essentially based on the Polo platform which is also used by Vento. The compact car is specifically designed for the Indian market where compact sedans have become immensely popular.
As per data supplied by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers the compact sedan segment witnesses monthly sales of 28,000-30,000 units. The segment will see further competition when Tata Motors will launch its third product in this segment codenamed Kite 5 later this year.
The Ameo was first showcased by Volkswagen just before the India Auto Expo in February this year. This car is one of the four new launches VW promised it would make in India this year with the other being Tiguan, Passat GTE and Beetle.