Volkswagen Beetle, the original ‘people’s car’ and highest-selling car in the world till the late 70s, has already netted 160 customers in India vying to become its first owners before its scheduled December 4 launch. Advance bookings for small luxury cars are not common in India, and riding on this positive sentiment Volkswagen expects to sell 500 Beetles next year.
Beetle which is priced at 22 lakh Rs (ex-showroom Mumbai) will come in a single 2-litre petrol variant, which will be available for delivery immediately after the launch. It will come with a 6-speed automatic gear box and deliver 13-14 km/litre. Its advanced safety features include anti-lock brake system and multiple-air bags, while the 15 inch alloy wheels will be standard.
The first car in the world to sell over 20 million units in the 80s, it will bear the tag line of The Return of the Legend as it had been a quintessential car in the Indian market for decades.
Volkswagen passenger cars director Neeraj Garg said that Beetle will be imported from Mexico as a completely built unit attracting 110% import duty making it four times expensive than Polo, which will be made locally at Volkswagen’ s plant at Pune plant.
The luxury small car market in India has been pretty dull. BMW has indefinitely delayed the launch of its sporty hatchback, Mini, and Fiat 500 that comes at a price tag of Rs 15 lakh has had a lackluster response, selling only 62 cars since its launch 17 months back.