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VW eyes budget brand by 2015 to rival Dacia-sources

Published: October 12, 2012 | 10:01 am
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* Cars to be priced between 5,000-10,000 euros-sources
* VW eyeing budget cars but no decision yet-spokesman
* VW Sept group sales up 6.5 pct, slowest gain in 5 months

BERLIN, Oct 12 – German carmaker Volkswagen may launch a new low-cost brand by about 2015 to take on rivals including Renault’s Dacia and Nissan’s Datsun in lucrative emerging markets, two company sources said on Friday.

Europe’s biggest carmaker is eyeing a price range of between 5,000 and 10,000 euros ($6,500-$12,900) for the budget cars which may include a van, estate and a small sedan, the sources said, confirming a report in German business daily Handelsblatt.

The vehicles would be aimed at grabbing share in the fast-growing BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China), but may also be sold in Europe, the sources said.

“We’re regularly looking at new segments and interesting markets which also include so-called budget cars,” VW spokesman Eric Felber said. “But a decision has not been taken yet.”

Wolfsburg-based VW lacks a strong presence in markets such as India and Southeast Asia, with their mature and growing small-car segments. VW’s partnership with Suzuki from December 2009, designed to benefit from the Japanese manufacturer’s leading position in India, fell apart last year.

Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn has pledged to tackle such blank spots as VW strives to surpass Toyota and General Motors to become the world’s biggest carmaker by 2018.

Vehicle sales across VW’s multi-brand group including luxury division Audi and Czech unit Skoda rose 6.5 percent in September to 801,000 autos, the slowest gain in five months, the company said on Friday. Nine-month deliveries were up 9.7 percent to 6.71 million cars.

($1 = 0.7726 euros)


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