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Volkswagen India might discontinue the Ameo compact-sedan in the not-too-distant future. The company claims that the India-exclusive sub-four-metre compact-sedan market is quite challenging to do business in. In addition to this, the Volkswagen Ameo could not garner enough sales as the company intended; especially when compared to the segment leader, the Maruti Suzuki Dzire.
The sole reason why major Indian brands pitch in to make compact-sedans is the mixed practicality and tax reduction it offers. Though a sub-four-metre compact-sedan generally looks like a failed cloning experience, it works really well in our Indian context.
Compact-sedans, as the name suggests, are adequately compact for daily-use in an urban environment while also offering some extra space for your luggage. For some, it still is a 'sedan' and the aesthetic appeal is relevant only to a very few.
Coming back to the Volkswagen Ameo, it is the only example of its kind which the German manufacturer makes in the world. Besides, the Ameo is based on the fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo hatchback (which is almost 10 years old now). So, in order to make a 'next-generation Ameo', the company has to work on the new-generation Polo which is yet to be introduced in India.
Speaking to The Economic Times, Gurpratap Boparai, Head of Volkswagen Group India shared, "We will not do any products like the Ameo. The sub-four-metre sedan is a very, very tricky product. It works only when the hatch that it's based on is significantly below four metres (in length), otherwise the aesthetics of the car won't work". The new Polo is over four metres in length.
This news can be viewed from two angles. Firstly, the brand will lose access to one of the most active market segments in the country and hence, potential profit. Secondly, Indian car enthusiasts can get a sense of relief that at least one automaker is putting an end to such abnormal automotive proportions.
The Volkswagen Ameo was launched in India back in June 2016 at a starting price of around Rs 6 lakh ex-showroom (India). Since the time of launch, the car went through some minor cosmetic enhancements and even an engine 'downgrade' (the 1.0-litre MPi petrol unit). The desirability factor soon plummeted to an extent that Volkswagen India saw a 44-per-cent dip in Ameo sales in 2018.
Thoughts On Volkswagen Ameo Being Discontinued
The Volkswagen Ameo might not be the best in terms of looks, but is certainly not a bad car altogether. The diesel-powered Ameo TDi variant offers quite an engaging driving experience. Furthermore, Volkswagen Motorsports' portfolio consists of the Ameo Cup racing car which sports the brand's 1.8-litre TSi petrol engine. Will discontinuing the Ameo create a major impact on the brand's business in India? We do not think so. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.