German auto major Volkswagen on Tuesday announced a foray into the Indian used car market with the launch of its ’Das WeltAuto’ arm at New Delhi.
The company will sell both VW and non-VW branded cars under the pre-owned car business, Volkswagen Group Sales India Member of Board and Director Neeraj Garg told reporters at New Delhi. He said VW will set up about two to three ’Das WeltAuto’ showrooms in India during the first half of the year.
Commenting on the rationale behind the launch of a new business, Garg said: "With a healthy customer base and a strong network established in the market over the last couple of years, it has encouraged us to bring in our global pre-owned car business into the country."
Asked about the investment involved in the new venture, he said it will be borne by the company’s dealers, who would set up separate showrooms for the used cars.
After setting up shop in India five years back, he said a pre-owned car business was the only milestone left for the company to package itself as a one-stop shop for customers.
"About 30 per cent of all the inquiries that we get at our showrooms are for exchange. While we may not be able to convert all of them into purchases, we are definitely looking to tap them as well," Garg said.
In 2011, the company sold 78,408 units, translating into a growth of 140 per cent vis-a-vis the previous year, he said.
"This (VW’s growth) was at a time when the industry was growing at around 5 per cent," he said, adding that the company expects to witness an increase in sales numbers in 2012 over 2011 as well, though he did not share specifics.
For the industry as a whole, growth in 2012 is expected to be around 6-7 per cent, he said.