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VW defers launch of two models

November 19, 2008 11:20 IST

The launch of German auto major Volkswagen's light commercial vehicles the Craftar and the Caravalle, originally planned for the end of 2008, will be  deferred to the middle of next year.

The company attributes the delay to the slump in demand for commercial vehicles in the country since the beginning of the current year.

"We're very careful of the segments we'd target in the country. The overall slowdown in the automobile sector along with the prolonged market study we commissioned this year - both have contributed to the delay in the launch of our LCVs," said a top executive of Volkswagen on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Tuesday.

The Craftar is a 3.5-tonne LCV sold as three variants - bus, goods carrier and pick-ups in the European markets, while Caravelle is a 9-seater bus, which also doubles as a goods carrier.

The company says no decision has been taken on the variants for India.

"Our plans for India is on track. There's no slowdown in the construction of our manufacturing plant at Pune," says Joerg Mueller, president & MD of Volkswagen India. The group has invested about Rs 3,600 crore (Rs 36 billion) in the Chakkan facility in Pune alone.

Danny Goodman in New Delhi
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