Volkswagen joins convoy to Gujarat
Volkswagen is the newest addition to a growing list of carmakers that are either already present in, or looking to move into the State. While GM and Tata Motors have operational plants in Gujarat, Maruti Suzuki has slotted mega expansion in the State.
Peugeot Citroen and Ford Motor have already been given tax breaks and have signed 'state support' agreements. Recently, a few officials from Volkswagen evaluated sites near Ahmedabad and Vadodara, State Government officials told Business Line. "They (Volkswagen) saw multiple sites as part of their due diligence process. It's still in the early stages and they are supposed to soon meet the Industries Department officials again," a Gujarat Government official said.
A Volkswagen Group India spokesperson said the company is "not as yet" looking at other States to set up a new car plant. Asked further about investment plans, he added: "We are looking at various options and, as and when we firm up our plans, we will share them with you."
Though Volkswagen currently has two plants in Maharashtra (Chakan and Aurangabad) with a combined 1.3 lakh-unit annual capacity, a wrangle with the State authorities over discontinued VAT benefits may force it to seek alternatives. Maharashtra used to refund VAT paid on all vehicles made in the State, a practice modified last year to include only those vehicles sold within the State.