VW’s Budget Brands looks set to get the go-ahead. CEO Matrin Winterkorn confirmed at the Detroit Motor Show: “The decision whether we will produce a model for emerging markets will be made later this year”. But the project is well underway already, said member of the board for development, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg. The plan is to build a car that will sell for equivalent of 6,500 Euros (£5,400) in China. Hackenberg said meeting budgets was key to the project, but aded: “We need time, but we’ll do it”.
To be able to sell at this price, the car will have to be made in China. “It needs to be fully localised”, he continued. “You need low production costs and suppliers”. It will not wear a VW badge, but carry a new name. “That’s what we’re thinking”, he said. “You can’t enlarge the offer of a brand (VW) too far”. Safety would be comparable with budget rivals and India could get its own version of the car, also locally produced. But the brand will not come here. “VW does not export from China”, said Hackenberg.