The Volkswagen and Suzuki industrial tie-up, which was signed last year, is set on producing the badge-engineered Suzuki Alto and Wagon R hatches – the first solid signs of their partnership.
Autocar India spoke to sources who said that there are talks between VW and Suzuki about rebadging the newest Alto as a Volkswagen and the Wagon R as a Skoda as entry-level models in the European brands’ lineups in India, beginning in 2012.
These models will fill slots in the range initially intended for the Up family of city cars that VW, Seat and Skoda that are currently in development in Europe.
The Up won’t anymore be offered in India since it will be priced out of the market due to the technology in the cars and the high cost of setting up production locally to avoid high import duties on European-sourced production.
Due to the costs and the tight deadline, the rebadging is expected to be limited to revised bumpers and headlights and minor new trim but there will be no metalwork or interior updates.
It’s believed that VW is preparing to put its badge on a car that features the Fiat 1.3 Multijet diesel, which Suzuki produces under license in India for the Alto and Wagon R. [via autocar]