Skoda & Volkswagen still want to partner Tata Motors for affordable car: Here’s why

Skoda and Volkswagen have still not given up on the idea of a partnership with Tata Motors, to develop a new, budget car for the Indian market. This is because Volkswagen and Skoda are both working out a strategy to build low cost cars for the Indian market but haven’t zeroed in on a method yet. Both automakers have noticed Tata Motors launching a slew of successful, well built cars such as the Tiago, Tigor, Nexon and Hexa, prompting them to take a relook at a partnership with Tata.

Bernhard Maier, chief executive officer of Skoda Auto, said

Cooperation with the owner of Jaguar Land Rover is possible “in principle” in the future. We’ve been analysing the Indian market in great detail. It’s highly, highly competitive. We’re taking a decision on how to enter this market shortly.

Skoda India has been given the task of developing a low cost version of the MQB platform specifically for emerging markets such as India and Brazil. Called MQB A0, this platform will underpin new cars such as the next generation Polo, Vento, Ameo and a compact SUV that will challenge the Hyundai Creta. These cars will be badged Volkswagen and Skoda in India but it won’t be before 2021 when they first start arriving into the Indian market. However, Volkswagen and Skoda are not likely to use the MQB A0 platform for a sub-Polo hatchback.

This is where Tata Motors can come into the picture. The automaker has developed a new architecture called the Advanced Modular Platform (AMP). Like VW’s MQB platform, AMP will involve a lot of parts sharing. The upcoming 45X premium hatchback will be the first Tata car to use AMP, and the platform will eventually be used for smaller hatchbacks as well. A Tata-VW partnership could see the latter use AMP to build a new sub-Polo hatchback for the Indian market. For now though, everything is fluid.