Volkswagen Launches its First Locally Assembled Passat in India

Will increase competition in premium passenger car segment

Europe's largest car maker Volkswagen on Sept. 5 announced the launch of its first locally assembled premium car, the Passat Sedan, in India. "The Passat will set the pace for our future product launches in India, which is a key market for strategic growth," Joerg Mueller, president of Volkswagen India, said.

The car is Volkswagen's first locally assembled model in India. The Passat TDI 2.0 liter highline will be available in two versions in India, priced at between $54,645 and $59,535.

Volkswagen's Passat is among the most successful Volkswagen cars after the Golf and the Beetle, with sales of 14 million units globally since its launch in 1973, the company said. Other popular Volkswagen cars -- the Phaeton and Touareg -- are imported into India.

The Passat's launch will increase competition in the premium passenger car segment that includes the Toyota Camry, Nissan Teana, Mercedes C Class, BMW 3 series and Audi A4, industry experts say.

The Passat will be assembled at the Volkswagen group company Skoda Auto's assembly plant in Aurangabad in the western state of Maharashtra, which produces about 25,000 Skodas annually for the Indian market.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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