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Just last week, you read the bad news of Honda pulling the plug on the Civic in India and now enthusiasts have more disappointment heading their way. Our sources inform us that Volkswagen has stopped production of the Polo 1.6 in India. The German automaker has discontinued the Polo 1.6 variant from the Indian market due to poor demand. Dealers will be having a few units of the Polo 1.6 with them and will be offering discounts to clear stocks. While rumors of Maruti Suzuki bringing in the Swift Sport are doing the rounds since quite some time now, this move by Volkswagen clearly reveals that there is very little demand for petrol powered performance hatchbacks.
Last month Volkswagen sold a respectable 3498 units of the Polo hatchback, with majority of the sales coming from the 1.2-litre diesel version. The 1.2-litre petrol is also quite popular with petrol hatchback buyers, as it offers very good economy compared to the 1.6-litre petrol variant. The Polo 1.2 is cheaper as well and benefits from lower excise duty, something the 1.6-litre Polo misses out on. The Polo 1.6 is available in Highline trim only, at a price of Rs. 7.58 lakhs. The Polo 1.2 Highline is priced at Rs. 7.27 lakhs. (all prices on-road, Mumbai). For just Rs. 26,500/- you get a much faster car but buyers in India always put mileage over performance. If you do the excise maths, the Polo 1.6 is priced lower then what it should be. Could VW be absorbing lower margins on the Polo 1.6?
Another reason for the poor sales of the Volkswagen Polo 1.6 could be the diesel Polo. The Polo 1.2 TDI Comfotline is just Rs. 8000/- more than the Polo 1.6. The Polo 1.6 uses the same engine which does duty in the petrol Vento and Skoda Rapid. This 1598cc, petrol motor produces a power output of 105 PS at 5250 RPM and a torque output of 153 Nm at 3750 RPM. This engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and performance is quite strong. The Polo 1.6 nudges past 100 km/h in just 11.1 seconds and will go onto a top speed 180 km/h. It is easily the fastest hatchback on Indian roads (MINI aside) and we were very impressed when we reviewed it last year. Read the Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Review.
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