German luxury carmaker Porsche plans to start assembly operations in India for Cayenne sports utility vehicle, using a plant owned by parent company Volkswagen in a move aimed at halving the import duty on the vehicle, according to media reports.
This could drastically reduce the cost of the Posche Cayenne SUV from a starting price of INR 67 Lakhs to say INR 40-45 Lakhs.
People familiar with the carmaker's plans said that Porsche would use the VW facility in the country to assemble only Cayenne, as the moderate production output wouldn't justify a separate plant.
But Ashish Chordia, CEO of Porsche India, denied any such plans, stating that the company is not considering moving any of its production lines outside Germany.
"Porsche stands for 'Made in Germany' quality, and currently there are no plans of either assembling or manufacturing Porsches in India," he said.
The Cayenne accounts for more than 65% of Porsche sales in India. By going the completely knocked down (CKD) route in which Porsche India will import Porsche Cayenne kits in completely knocked down form and assemble them in India, the company could reduce the import duty on the vehicle to 40% from 113% applicable to completely built units (CBUs).
Porsche has been in India since 2004. Last year the carmaker registered total sales of 138 cars in the country and has targeted 250 cars in 2010. It has opened dealers in Chandigarh, Kochi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad this year.
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