7 October 2019 - The ŠKODA AUTO led Volkswagen Group India, having secured the prerequisite regulatory and statutory approvals, announced the merger of its three passenger car subsidiaries - Volkswagen India Private Limited (VWIPL), Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Limited (NSC) and ŠKODA AUTO India Private Limited (SAIPL). The merger of three former Volkswagen Group entities is an important milestone in the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project. The merged entity will be referred to as ‘ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited’ (SAVWIPL). The entity will be led by Mr. Gurpratap Boparai, who will assume the role of its Managing Director. The company will be headquartered in Pune, Maharashtra, operate two production facilities in Pune and Aurangabad, and have regional offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, and other locations across the country. The integration will make more efficient use of the existing synergies in this important growth market.
Bernhard Maier, ŠKODA AUTO CEO, explains: “The operational launch of ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited marks an important milestone in the INDIA 2.0 project. This merger creates one of the key prerequisites for working together more efficiently at all levels and achieving our long-term goal: to gain significant market shares for Volkswagen and ŠKODA by 2025. We will now proceed in a series of quick steps: As early as next year, we will be presenting a specific outlook for our INDIA 2.0 model portfolio at the Auto Expo in Delhi.”
Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd., adds: “With this merger, we plan to combine the technology and management expertise of our team in India and realise our true potential in a challenging, competitive environment. We want to further strengthen our presence in India, ensure the professional development of our employees and safeguard sustainable profitability for our dealers.”
The emergence of the merged entity with a strong brand portfolio - Volkswagen, ŠKODA, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini is envisioned to serve across market segments and budgets. These brands shall retain their distinctive identities, dealer network as well as implementing their own customer experience initiatives. However, they will be pursuing a shared vision and strategy for the Indian subcontinent.
In July 2018, the Volkswagen Group announced investments of around one billion euros as part of the INDIA 2.0 project. In January 2019, a new technology centre was opened in Pune, India, where vehicles will be developed based on the localised MQB-A0-IN subcompact platform, tailored to the wishes and requirements of local customers. The first step in the model campaign will involve ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited launching a mid-size SUV model that will be available from both ŠKODA and Volkswagen. The company will be presenting the studies at the Auto Expo 2020, which is held in New Delhi from 6 to 9 February 2020.
3 April 2019 – The Volkswagen Group has announced its intent to merge its three Indian subsidiaries: Volkswagen India Private Ltd (VWIPL), Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Ltd (NSC) and SKODA AUTO India Private Ltd (SAIPL). The merger has been considered and approved by the Boards of the three companies in India and is now subject to the necessary regulatory and statutory approvals. The restructuring of the Volkswagen Group companies in India is an important milestone in the ŠKODA-led ‘INDIA 2.0’ project of the Volkswagen Group.
The proposed merger of the three companies will make more efficient use of the existing synergies in developing this important growth market. The Volkswagen Group brands, viz. Volkswagen, ŠKODA, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini, will maintain their individual identities, dealer network and customer experience initiatives. However, the brands will work under the leadership of Mr. Gurpratap Boparai with a common strategy for the Indian market.
Mr. Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Ltd and SKODA AUTO India Private Ltd commented, “India is an important and an attractive growth market for the Volkswagen Group. With the proposed merger, we intend to combine the technical and managerial expertise of the three companies to unlock the Volkswagen Group’s true potential in India’s competitive automotive market. The integration will lead to coordinated and faster decision making and increased efficiency using existing synergies.”
In July 2018, the Volkswagen Group confirmed investments of INR 8,000 crore (EUR 1 billion) in the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project. In January 2019 the Technology Center was opened in Pune, laying the foundation for the development of products based on the localised sub-compact MQB-A0-IN platform tailored to the needs of customers in the Indian subcontinent. In the second phase of the project, Volkswagen Group will be examining the possibility of exporting vehicles built in India.
31 January 2019 – On 1 April 2019, Jan Frydrych will assume the role of HR Director in the ŠKODA-led INDIA 2.0 project of the Volkswagen Group. In this position, the experienced manager will be responsible for human resources management and the implementation of the HR strategy within the framework of the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, working alongside a newly established management team. He will also be responsible for collaborating with social partners and implementing HR synergies among the Group brands in the Indian market.
As part of the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, ŠKODA continues to allocate responsibilities at the management level. Jan Frydrych will be the HR Director for the Volkswagen Group’s Indian operations, effective as of 1 April 2019. In this role, the 40-year-old will report directly to the Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd. and Volkswagen India Private Ltd. (VWIPL), Gurpratap Boparai.
ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Human Resources, Bohdan Wojnar, emphasizes: “Jan Frydrych’s many years of experience in HR will help us introduce a sustainable human resources concept in India. With his expertise, he will ensure that talented new employees are won over to the project and that the potential of the local workforce is utilized optimally.”
Gurpratap Boparai adds: “For the INDIA 2.0 project to be implemented successfully, we need a new approach to human resources. The project brings with it new responsibilities as well as a much broader array of activities, and it will develop dynamically. We are currently recruiting a lot of new employees to complete the project in a short time. I am convinced that Mr. Frydrych will be a valuable member of our management team in the future.”
Frydrych has worked in various positions for ŠKODA AUTO since 2004. He began his career in Sales and marketing. Since 2007, he has held leadership positions in the field of human resources and has worked both in the Czech Republic and abroad since then. After working at Volkswagen China Investment Co., he returned to ŠKODA, becoming head of Recruiting and HR marketing in 2015. Since September 2016, he has been responsible for HR management at the Kvasiny plant. Throughout the course of the SUV campaign, the site was extensively modernized and expanded; the number of employees grew by 3,000 under Frydrych’s leadership. Kvasiny currently produces the ŠKODA KODIAQ and ŠKODA KAROQ SUV models as well as the brand’s flagship, the ŠKODA SUPERB.
As part of the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, ŠKODA AUTO is in charge of the Volkswagen Group’s planned model campaign on the Indian market and will be producing new models locally based on the sub-compact platform MQB A0, initially focusing on India (MQB-A0-IN). ŠKODA and Volkswagen will be developing various models on this platform. The model campaign will be launched in 2020 with an SUV. The second step will involve the manufacturer examining the possibility of exporting the vehicles produced in India. To ensure that the planned models best meet the needs of Indian customers, ŠKODA AUTO will be relying on maximum market proximity from the outset. The technical development of the new vehicles will take place primarily in India, for which a new technology centre was opened in January. The car manufacturer plans to gradually create new jobs locally.
19 January 2019: ŠKODA AUTO and Volkswagen have opened a new Technology Center in Pune, India. The opening ceremony was attended by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and other government officials. On behalf of the Volkswagen Group, ŠKODA is leading the INDIA 2.0 project, which sets out the Volkswagen Group’s model campaign on the Indian market. At the new Technology Center, 250 engineers will be developing vehicles tailored to the needs of customers in the subcontinent. To ensure maximum market proximity, ŠKODA AUTO will achieve radical localization of 95 percent, meaning that almost all vehicle components will be made in India.
Andrej Babiš, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, and other members of his government travelled to Pune for the opening ceremony of the new Technology Center. The delegation was received by Christian Strube, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Technical Development and Bohdan Wojnar, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for HR as well as Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of Skoda Auto India Private Ltd. and, since 1 January 2019, also Managing Director of Volkswagen India Private Limited (VWIPL).
Christian Strube, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Technical Development says: “By opening the Technology Center, we underline our determination to make the INDIA 2.0 project a success. India has excellent universities and highly qualified staff; this state-of-the-art facility will help us to unlock that huge potential – especially with regard to design and development. Local development is the key to success.”
Andrej Babiš, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, said at the opening ceremony: “I am delighted that ŠKODA AUTO is expanding its presence and involvement in India with such significant investments and promising projects. The fact that ŠKODA is creating great opportunities for the high potential here in India demonstrates how long-term the brand’s strategy is.”
The Technology Center in Chakan, around 30 kilometres north of Pune, represents the first major step in implementing the INDIA 2.0 project. ŠKODA AUTO and the Volkswagen Group are jointly investing 250 million euros in research and development projects in India; most of the technical development is to be carried out locally. The Indian engineers will be responsible for project management, electronics, infotainment, body design, interior, chassis and complete vehicle.
Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of Skoda Auto India Private Ltd and, since 1 January 2019, also Managing Director of Volkswagen India Private Limited (VWIPL), emphasizes: “The Technology Center will lay the foundation for the development of products that are specially designed for Indian market. We expect to roll out the first products, for both the ŠKODA as well Volkswagen brands, by 2020-21; starting with a mid-sized SUV based on MQB A0 IN platform. A model campaign, led by ŠKODA, will follow. I am convinced that we can use all the strengths of ŠKODA to the great benefit of the entire Volkswagen Group.”
Approximately 250 engineers will be working at the new Technology Center. Their activities will focus on developing the subcompact platform MQB A0 IN. 95% of the vehicle components for the radically localized MQB A0 platform will be manufactured locally. The vehicles developed in India will meet the same core standards for safety, quality and design that the Volkswagen Group represents worldwide. At the same time, both ŠKODA and Volkswagen will be launching models with their own typical characteristics on the market. All of the planned models will meet the stricter safety and emission targets that will come into force in India in 2020 and beyond, which will even allow them to be exported to other emerging economies.
In July 2018, the Volkswagen Group confirmed a EUR 1 billion investment in the INDIA 2.0 project, which will primarily be used in developing ŠKODA AUTO and Volkswagen vehicles for the Indian market. The first of these models will be a mid-size SUV in the A0 segment, which will be unveiled in 2020.
20 November 2018: As part of the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, the Volkswagen Group plans to sustainably strengthen its position in the Indian market. The Volkswagen Group in India is restructuring its management in order to use the existing synergies more efficiently in the development of this important growth market. Gurpratap Boparai, currently Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd., will also become Managing Director of Volkswagen India Private Limited (VWIPL) with effect from 1 January 2019. In the future, all the Group brands will continue their operations under the leadership of Gurpratap Boparai with a common strategy in the Indian Market. The restructuring of the Volkswagen Group companies in India is planned for next year, subject to regulatory and other approvals.
The Volkswagen Group is placing the responsibility for implementing the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project in the hands of the newly formed management team. The aim of this measure is to make more efficient use of existing synergies and to establish more agile coordination processes so that decisions can be made more quickly and flexibly.
With effect from 1 January 2019, Gurpratap Singh Boparai, currently Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd., will also become Managing Director of Volkswagen India Private Ltd. (VWIPL). On the same date, Mr. Pavel Richter, Production Technical Director of INDIA 2.0 project, will be responsible for production at both Indian plants. As part of the restructuring Dr. Andreas Lauermann will be moving to the Volkswagen Group by end of the year to take on new responsibilities.
Bernhard Maier, ŠKODA AUTO CEO, explains: “India is an important and attractive growth market for us. Our goal is clear: In this highly competitive environment, we aim for a combined Volkswagen and ŠKODA market share of up to 5% by 2025. Based on the MQB A0-IN platform from 2020, we will be offering the right models to unlock the Indian market’s potential.”
Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd. and Head of ‘INDIA 2.0’, adds: “With the introduction of the new management structure, we are laying the foundations both for the joint implementation of ‘INDIA 2.0’ and for achieving our goals in India: we will secure employment in India, create new jobs, attract talent and launch high quality and attractive vehicles on the market.”
As part of ‘INDIA 2.0’, ŠKODA will be responsible for the Volkswagen Group’s model campaign on the Indian market. To best meet the needs of Indian customers, ŠKODA has been focusing on maximum market proximity from the very start. All future models to be developed and produced locally in India will be based on the Volkswagen Group’s modular transverse matrix (MQB). This platform already meets the stricter legal requirements in India, which will come into force in 2020. In this context, ŠKODA is developing the MQB-A0 IN sub-compact platform exclusively for the Indian market. The model campaign will be launched in 2020 with an SUV. In the second phase of the project, ŠKODA will be examining the possibility of exporting vehicles built in India.
21 September 2018: Pavel Richter will be assuming the role of Production Technical Director of the ŠKODA led INDIA 2.0 project of the Volkswagen Group on 1 November 2018. The 46-year-old will be responsible for the production of all the models at the Indian plant in Pune. The personnel restructuring is part of the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project. Under Gurpratap Boparai’s leadership, ŠKODA is responsible for the Volkswagen Group’s model campaign on the Indian market.
Reorganizing the responsibilities at the management level is an important step in implementing the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project. With the appointment of Pavel Richter to the position of Production Technical Director, ŠKODA has now filled one of the key positions at an early stage.
Dr. Andreas Lauermann, Managing Director and President of Volkswagen India Private Ltd. says: “I am delighted to welcome Pavel Richter to our team in Pune. With his experience, he will play a crucial role in achieving our common goal of further strengthening the Volkswagen Group’s position in the strategically important Indian market.”
Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd. and Head of ‘INDIA 2.0’ emphasizes: “Pavel Richter has known the company’s structures for many years and has considerable expertise in the international automotive industry. With his capabilities, he will play a key role in making the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project successful.”
Pavel Richter has been working for ŠKODA AUTO since 2000, and has performed various managerial roles in the Czech Republic as well as in other countries in that time. In 2011, he became Head of the ŠKODA plant in Kvasiny, Czech Republic. From 2014, Richter was responsible for the production of the OCTAVIA, RAPID and KAROQ models at the company’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav.
As part of ‘INDIA 2.0’, ŠKODA will be responsible for the Volkswagen Group’s planned model campaign on the Indian market, for which one billion euros will be invested between 2019 and 2021. ŠKODA is manufacturing the new products locally based on the subcompact platform MQB A0, initially focusing on India (MQB-A0-IN).
The second step will involve the company investigating the possibility of exporting the vehicles manufactured in India. ŠKODA and Volkswagen plan to develop various models on this platform. The model campaign will be launched in 2020 with an SUV. To ensure the planned models meet the needs of Indian customers, ŠKODA is striving for maximum market proximity from the very start. The technical development of the new products will take place primarily in India. In this context, the car manufacturer plans to gradually create new jobs locally.
ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd. currently offers four model series: the ŠKODA RAPID, ŠKODA OCTAVIA, ŠKODA SUPERB and ŠKODA KODIAQ. The ŠKODA series OCTAVIA, SUPERB and KODIAQ are manufactured in Aurangabad alongside various models from the Group brands Audi and Volkswagen. The RAPID runs off the production line at the Pune plant, where the Volkswagen series VW Polo, VW Vento and VW Ameo and engines are also manufactured.
2 July 2018: ŠKODA AUTO CEO Bernhard Maier and Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd, announced details of the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project at a press conference in New Delhi today.
Going forward ŠKODA AUTO is responsible for leading Volkswagen Group’s planned model campaign on the Indian market. Volkswagen Group is investing one billion euros into the implementation of the project, primarily between 2019 and 2021. To ensure closest-possible proximity to the market, a project centre is being set up in India where, for example, vehicle development will take place.
ŠKODA AUTO CEO Bernhard Maier said, “Experts predict that in the next few years India is going to become the third-largest automotive market worldwide. With our ‘INDIA 2.0’ project we are now creating the right conditions for sustainable growth there. Our objective is ambitious, but achievable: together with the Volkswagen brand, we are seeking a market share of up to five per cent in the long term, depending on market and segment development.”
Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd, added, “With the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, ŠKODA AUTO and Volkswagen Group are in an excellent position to optimally confront the dynamics of the Indian car market. In India, we will offer top-class products at prices that amount to a paradigm shift in the automotive industry. We will manufacture the new products locally based on the heavily localised MQB A0 platform, which already fulfils the stricter emission and safety standards that are expected to come into force in India in 2020.”
Initially, ŠKODA AUTO is developing the sub-compact MQB A0 platform with a focus on India (MQB-A0-IN). In the second phase, ŠKODA will be assessing the possibility of exporting vehicles manufactured in India. ŠKODA and Volkswagen will develop several products based on this platform. The model campaign will begin in 2020 with an SUV.
To ensure that the planned models will fulfil the requirements of Indian customers to the utmost extent, ŠKODA AUTO is looking to be as close to the market as possible from the very start. The technical development of the new products will therefore predominantly take place in India. To this end, the car manufacturer plans to gradually create new jobs there.
22 June 2018: Going forward, ŠKODA AUTO is taking on an even more important role for Volkswagen Group in the development of the Indian car market. As part of the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, Volkswagen Group’s position in this important growing market is to be strengthened for the long term. “Volkswagen Group has tasked us with this responsibility, thereby highlighting the level of trust that Volkswagen Group’s management places in the expertise of the ŠKODA team,” said ŠKODA CEO, Bernhard Maier, after the Board of Management and Supervisory Board had given the project the go-ahead. Around one and a half years ago, ŠKODA AUTO was tasked with developing a sustainable model campaign for the ŠKODA and Volkswagen brands in the Indian volume segments.
All models designed and produced locally in India in the future will be based on Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, which already fulfils the stricter legal requirements for India that come into force in 2020. With the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, ŠKODA AUTO is also taking over responsibility for the sub-compact MQB A0 platform, initially with a focus on India (MQB-A0-IN). Preparations for the India-based development and production of the new, technologically pioneering volume models for the ŠKODA and Volkswagen brands are already in full swing. The introduction of the first ŠKODA model based on the A0-IN platform is scheduled for 2020.
“We are firmly convinced that – after one and a half years of intensive work – together with Volkswagen we now have a suitable approach to bring the right vehicles into the Indian market at the right time. We will present the first model built on the new MQB-A0-IN platform as early as 2020,” said ŠKODA AUTO CEO, Bernhard Maier, adding, “I am confident that we can make the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project a success.”
The project will be headed by the Managing Director of Skoda Auto India Private Ltd, Gurpratap Boparai, who is a renowned expert on the Indian car market.
What are the fundamental advantages of the MQB? By standardising components, dimensions and production processes, costs are lowered and production times are reduced. Furthermore, the MQB increases flexibility when developing new vehicles. Most of the technical development will take place in India.
The continued internationalisation of ŠKODA AUTO is one of the cornerstones of its 2025 Strategy. In 2017, ŠKODA AUTO was able to increase deliveries in India by more than 30 per cent compared to the previous year. The growing sales figures in India emphasise that the ŠKODA model range is attractive for Indian customers and provides an excellent foundation for further growth.
The ŠKODA brand has an excellent starting point for the planned growth in India: active on the Indian subcontinent since 2001, the brand has consistently increased sales in recent years. Last year, a total of 17,100 ŠKODA vehicles (+31.4%; 2016: 13,000 units) were delivered to customers in India. The first ŠKODA cars were sold there way back in the 1930s. Today, Skoda Auto India Private Ltd offers four ŠKODA models: the RAPID, OCTAVIA, SUPERB and, since October 2017, the KODIAQ. The RAPID is produced at the Pune plant, whilst the OCTAVIA, SUPERB and KODIAQ models are manufactured in Aurangabad, which is also where the company’s headquarters are located.