Volkswagen Group to shift its India headquarters to Andheri in Mumbai
In one of the largest commercial lease transactions this year, German automobile maker Volkswagen has picked up over 1 lakh sq ft office space in the Andheri suburb of Mumbai to shift its India headquarters from Bandra-Kurla Complex, said two persons familiar with the development.
The lease transaction with tenure of five years with an option to extend it by another five years has been concluded at Rs 130 per sq ft a month.
The German carmaker's new India headquarters here will house almost all its operations, including auto finance and used cars business and brands including Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini on a total 105,000 sq ft space. Currently, key operations for all these brands are housed in Maker Maxity in BKC.
"Volkswagen has already started working on shifting of its operations from Maker Maxity and will start operating out of the new headquarters by April," said one of the persons with direct knowledge of the transaction.
Both Volkswagen India and Mumbai-based realty developer Silver Group did not respond to ET's email query regarding the deal.
The deal assumes significance in the backdrop of very few large commercial lease transaction of this size taking place in Mumbai for almost three quarters now. The company also has an office on the outskirts of BKC to house its HR and finance function.
With this new office, the German carmaker will now neighbour other multinationals like Hindustan Unilever and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals that have standalone buildings here housing their respective headquarters.
The commercial project Silver Utopia is spread over nearly 2 acres on Andheri-Kurla Link road with total saleable space of 325,000 sq ft in this eight-storey building with basement and stilt parking. The building already houses tenants like logistics company DHL. Castrol India is also expected to have its office here from March.
Volkswagen Group posted an annual global turnover of 159.3 billion Euros with 8 million units sold in 2011 with presence in over 150 countries. But in India it is still very small with sales of less than 1,00,000 units. The group, however, has seven of its eight passenger car brands present in India namely the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda and Volkswagen.
While Volkswagen and Audi brands are managed by Volkswagen Group India Sales Private Limited, Skoda, Porsche and Lamborghini have their own set up with Bugatti and Bentley sold through distributors.
It’s Volkswagen and Skoda brands still command less than 3% market share, but at the premium end the company is on a stronger footing. The group's premium brand Audi is the fastest growing luxury car brand in India with a Number 2 position.
The company has recently formed a separate sales arm for its luxury brands Porsche and Lamborghini and a separate finance arm called Volkswagen Finance Private Limited.