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Home » Volkswagen Considering Selling Stake in India; Mahindra Among Potential Buyers?

Volkswagen, despite a significant investment of USD 2 billion in the Indian market, has struggled to make a substantial impact. Now, in a strategic move, the German automotive giant is contemplating selling its stake in its Indian operations, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India PVT LTD (SAVWIPL). This article delves into the reasons behind Volkswagen’s decision, the potential new partnership, and what this could mean for the Indian automotive landscape.

Volkswagen’s Strategic Move

Volkswagen’s Indian venture, overseen by Skoda Auto, has been operational for nearly two decades. However, the company has been unable to fully penetrate the price-sensitive Indian market. This challenge has prompted Volkswagen to seek a local partner to better navigate the complexities of the market. Claus Zellmer, CEO of Skoda Auto, confirmed the company’s intent to sell a stake in SAVWIPL to a local partner, aiming for a mutually beneficial partnership that leverages both parties’ strengths.

Why Volkswagen Struggled in India

Volkswagen and Skoda vehicles are known for their high engineering standards and quality, but this comes at a cost. In India, where the market is highly price-sensitive, the relatively high price tags of Volkswagen and Skoda cars have limited their appeal. Competitors who offer more competitively priced vehicles have fared better in capturing the mass market. Zellmer admitted that the company’s strategy of building over-engineered vehicles to meet global standards did not align well with the cost expectations of Indian consumers.

Potential Partnership and Benefits

Volkswagen is looking for a true partnership, where both parties have significant skin in the game. The envisioned partnership is not one where Volkswagen seeks to be led but rather one where both companies can learn from each other and grow together. The goal is to enhance engineering, sales, and procurement competencies through this collaboration. Zellmer described the ideal partnership as a “marriage without a contract,” emphasizing equality and mutual benefit.

This partnership is expected to bring about a winning combination, where both companies can leverage their strengths to achieve greater success in the Indian market. By finding the right partner, Volkswagen hopes to achieve a balance between maintaining its high engineering standards and meeting the price expectations of Indian consumers.

Why Mahindra Could Be the Ideal Partner

While Volkswagen has not officially confirmed the identity of the potential partner, Mahindra is considered a strong candidate. The two companies have a history of collaboration, and Mahindra’s deep understanding of the Indian market could provide Volkswagen with the local expertise it needs. Mahindra’s established presence and market knowledge could help Volkswagen navigate the price-sensitive landscape and increase its market share in India.

The Future of SAVWIPL

As Volkswagen looks to form this strategic partnership, the company is committed to achieving a combination of engineering excellence and cost-effectiveness. The partnership is expected to focus on three key competencies:

1. Engineering Competence: Enhancing the technological and engineering capabilities of SAVWIPL to produce vehicles that meet both global standards and local cost expectations.

2. Sales Competence: Developing more effective sales strategies to better capture the Indian market.

3. Procurement Competence Streamlining the procurement process to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Zellmer emphasized that SAVWIPL is not a weak partner looking to be led but an equal stakeholder seeking to create a more successful and sustainable business model through collaboration.


Volkswagen’s decision to sell a stake in its Indian operations marks a significant strategic shift aimed at overcoming the challenges it has faced in the Indian market. By partnering with a local entity, potentially Mahindra, Volkswagen hopes to find the right balance between its high engineering standards and the cost expectations of Indian consumers. This partnership could herald a new era for SAVWIPL, enabling it to achieve greater success and become a stronger player in the Indian automotive industry.

For further details on Volkswagen’s strategic move in India, you can read the full report in the Times of India

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Saman Nawaz

With over 7 years of experience in the field of content writing, Saman Nawaz has become a seasoned professional in her craft. As a Feature Writer at, she demonstrates expertise in creating timely news pieces and conducting thorough analyses within the automotive industry. Her proficiency lies in crafting up-to-date content that delves deep into the intricacies of the auto sector, providing readers with insightful perspectives and comprehensive information.Full Bio