Bringing a replacement for the decade-old hatchback is proving to be a difficult decision for Volkswagen India
The Volkswagen Polo has been available in India in its fifth-generation avatar for over a decade now. Globally, the Polo underwent a generational update in 2017 and is underpinned by the VW Group’s smallest modular platform, MQB-A0. Volkswagen has shifted its focus to SUVs for the Indian market but a new Polo could still be on the cards.
The Polo currently retails between Rs 6.01 lakh and Rs 9.92 lakh as a premium hatchback offering. Even though its price is similar to the segment leading Maruti Suzuki Baleno, it enjoys less than 5 percent of the segment’s market share.
According to Gurpratap Boparai, MD Skoda Auto Volkswagen India, the “price point needs to be higher for the Polo (sixth-gen model) to enter”.
Price of Premium Hatchbacks
Prices of premium hatchbacks are already on the rise. The Honda Jazz has the highest entry price of Rs 7.55 lakh while the new Hyundai i20 is the most expensive in its top variant, at a whopping Rs 11.18 lakh. The i20 is the first model in the segment to cross the Rs 10 lakh mark and an even pricier N Line variant is in the pipeline.
The prices of these hatchbacks are likely to swell in the coming years with increasing input costs and taxes. A new-gen Polo priced from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 12 lakh with premium features, improved safety, and increased proportions may attract customers in the future, but is unlikely to do so now.
Volkswagen has not yet made a decision on the future of the Polo hatchback in India. It got a new 110PS 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine as part of the BS6 update in 2020 and continues to be a popular choice among driving enthusiasts. Despite the outdated cabin, the fifth-gen hatchback’s driving dynamics and premium build quality could help it stay relevant in India for a couple more years with the possibility of a new-gen Polo being launched by late-2022 or early-2023.