Volkswagen is going back to its roots as the "people's car", only under a different name.
Do you think the Volkswagen Group has enough brands under its umbrella already? Between Seat, Skoda, Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche Bugatti, Bentley, the VW brand itself and VW Commercial Vehicles (not to mention Ducati and a handful of truck manufacturers), you'd certainly have a point. But the latest reports indicate that the German industrial giant is preparing to launch one more. In pursuit of customers on a strict budget, Volkswagen is reportedly preparing to launch a cheaper brand.
The cars would be produced through joint ventures in India and China, but would be exported back to Europe as well. The range is set to include a sedan (€6000), a wagon (€7000) and a minivan (€8000), all with boxy styling but solid engineering, and potentially bring Volkswagen back to its roots as the "people's car", albeit under another name. The move would be similar to what Renault did with Dacia, but mark a distinct departure from existing VW strategies. In some markets (particularly South America), Volkswagen continues producing previous generations of models that have since been replaced, but at a lower price and stripped of much content.
In others, it's moving ahead with the Up! city car. The new budget range would be considerably larger, however. Sources expect the new range to launch towards the end of 2014. For our part, we can't help but wonder why Volkswagen wouldn't seek to reposition one of its existing brands instead. We're looking at you, Skoda.