Saturday, April 20, 2024

Next Big Bet! Skoda Compact SUV Officially Confirmed

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Škoda Auto India is not taking its foot off the accelerator pedal when it comes to the Indian market. In its third major product offensive after the Kushaq and the Slavia, the company announced plans for an all-new compact SUV that will debut in India in the first half of 2025.

Speaking on the announcement, Klaus Zellmer, CEO, Škoda Auto a.s, said, “India is crucial to the global growth of Škoda Auto, both because of its own market strength and as a development and manufacturing base for our expansion in new markets including ASEAN and the Middle East. We have more than doubled sales in India since 2021 and we are now taking the next step by further expanding the range of models designed for customers in India and internationally. The all-new compact SUV due in 2025 will add an important segment for customers. I’m confident the expanding Škoda portfolio will contribute to our India growth target of achieving a market share for the Volkswagen family of brands of around 5 percent by 2030.”

The MQB-A0-IN platform, debuting with the Škoda Kushaq in 2021, formed the crux of Škoda Auto India’s strategy. It was developed jointly by teams in India and the Czech Republic with a focus on high localisation, low cost of ownership, and quick turnaround times. It is the first platform developed by the company outside of Europe and tailormade for the Indian market.

Speaking on the product action, Dr Johannes Neft, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development, Škoda Auto a.s, said, “The MQB-A0-IN platform we developed and localised specifically in India for India has incredible technical prowess, is very versatile and is ready for the world. The Kushaq and Slavia are based on this platform, and it is fulfilling to see that they have played an integral part in the growing focus on building safer cars in India. The new compact SUV will also be built on this platform and will carry forward the same Škoda DNA of superior driving dynamics, integral safety and proven quality.”

Speaking on the all-new product announcement, Martin Jahn, Member of the Board of Management for Sales & Marketing, Škoda Auto a.s, said, “The Škoda brand has taken big strides globally. In 2023, we have grown by 18.5% compared to 2022. India is a key market for our growth, and we have just crossed the 100,000 sales mark over the last two years – thanks to the locally developed and produced Kushaq and Slavia models. With the all-new compact SUV, we are underlining our commitment to India and its importance to our internationalisation plans. Together with the Kushaq and the Kodiaq, we will have an even better SUV portfolio for India, which is a key segment that contributes over 50% to all vehicle sales in the market.”

Providing his inputs on the development, Piyush Arora, Managing Director and CEO, Škoda Auto Volkswagen India (SAVWIPL) said, “After the success of the Kushaq and Slavia, we are expanding our reach with the upcoming launch of an all-new compact SUV, targeting the largest segment in India. Our R&D expertise in India has already enabled us to incorporate highly localised parts and components for our entire range. With the new compact SUV, we are furthering this strategy by systematically developing our local supplier base to provide parts and components of global standards and quality at competitive prices. We aim to actively participate in the evolving landscape of mobility in India. We remain focused on our expansions and further enhancement of the Group’s wide portfolio of cars in India.”

On the all-new product, Jan Bures, Member of Board, Sales, Marketing and Digital, Škoda Auto Volkswagen India (SAVWIPL) said, “The Škoda brand has been instrumental in fuelling the growth of the Group in India. This is not only in terms of sales volumes, but also in terms of our network reach and evolution across the value chain. The Made-in-India models built on the versatile MQB-A0-IN platform remain key contributors to delivering substantial volumes, which will be further driven by this all-new compact SUV, strengthening the diverse offerings of our Group brands.”

Škoda Auto, with a legacy of 129 years in the world entered India in November 2001. It had its biggest year in terms of sales in 2022. Combined with the year 2023, the company sold over 100,000 cars in a 2-year period. Earlier, it had taken the company 6 years to achieve the landmark, highlighting the rapid pace of growth undertaken by the company ever since the MQB-A0-IN platform has been put into action.

Next Big Bet! Skoda Compact SUV Officially Confirmed

Next Big Bet! Skoda Compact SUV Officially Confirmed

Adding further on the company’s announcement, Petr Janeba, Brand Director, Škoda Auto India said, “I am extremely pleased to announce that in a year from now, Škoda Auto will debut an all-new car – a compact SUV for the Indian market. With this launch, we will enhance our workforce on all fronts, with an innovative approach and pioneering formats to engage with our new and existing customers. We have already kick-started trainings and workshops for our sales and after-sales verticals and continue with our laser-sharp focus on customer satisfaction. With the new compact SUV, we are confident of reaching the 100,000 annual sales volume by 2026.”

First-ever Škoda compact SUV in India
The all-new compact SUV will be the company’s first ever vehicle in the category in the country. The vehicle will be on Indian roads in the first half of 2025. This new SUV will witness Škoda Auto India continue its made-for-India, ready-for-the-world ethos, where the company specifically develops cars focussed on the local market with an eye on localisation and low maintenance costs. The manufacturer first made this platform – the MQB-A0-IN developed specifically for India – available through the Kushaq SUV in July 2021, and the Slavia sedan in March 2022.

Commitment to India
Škoda Auto India’s all-new vehicle, slated to hit roads in 2025, is the third, all-new product on the MQB-A0-IN platform. This vehicle will be a sub 4 metre SUV that uses the excise benefits for under 4-metre cars available in India. And the company will pass on the benefit to customers when it comes to pricing. This all-new vehicle will be the new entry level product in Škoda Auto India’s fleet with the company intending on penetrating deeper and wider into Tier 3 and smaller markets with the car.

Manufacturing and sales strategy
Škoda Auto India has a full-fledged manufacturing unit in Chakan, near Pune, and a parts and components facility in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar. These facilities are part of the strategy for Škoda Auto India’s further expansion and growth plans in India. Activities in the Indian market are part of Škoda Auto’s Next Level Strategy. Škoda aims to become the best-selling European brand by 2030 and achieve a five percent market share for all Volkswagen Group brands as part of its responsibility for the region. In 2022, Škoda Auto recorded the highest sales of its brand in the Indian market in history and, together with the year 2023, sold over 100,000 vehicles in a two-year period. The automaker aims to sell 100,000 Škoda vehicles annually in India by 2026. In addition, the company leverages synergies in the export of vehicles produced in India to the ASEAN and Middle East regions.

Made in India. Ready for the world
The MQB-A0-IN platform, since 2021, has already proven its mettle in India and the world with the Kushaq and Slavia earning a full 5-stars for adult and child occupants in Global NCAP crash tests in October 2022 and April 2023 respectively. They were the first cars in India to be tested under the then newer and stricter test protocols of Global NCAP and the first to earn 5 stars for both adults and children.

High localisation and Safest fleet
The grounds-up design and development of the MQB-A0-IN platform has allowed Škoda Auto India to localise the car by up to 95%. This has enabled customers to enjoy the benefits of low cost of ownership and turnaround times, and standard warranties of 4 years and optional warranties of up to 8 years facilitating customers complete peace of mind. Combined with the Kodiaq luxury 4×4 that is rated 5-stars under Euro NCAP, Škoda Auto India has a fleet full of 5-star safe and tested cars in India.

The game in the name
Keeping intact its tradition of providing distinct nomenclatures that reflects culture, legacy and heritage, Škoda Auto India has announced a naming contest for this all-new compact SUV. The Kushaq is inspired by the Sanskrit word for emperor and the Slavia takes its name from the bicycle, which was the first ever product of the company from its origins in 1895. In an endeavour to enable users, customers and fans on what they think this all-new compact SUV should be named, Škoda Auto India announced the #NameYourSkoda campaign inviting entries from across India for possible names for this first-ever Škoda product in this segment in the country.

Mohit Soni
Mohit Sonihttps://www.thrustzone.com/
NOT A Commander, Director, Editor-In-This/ That, CEO, MD, President, Entrepreneur, etc etc. Just a first employee at Thrust Zone with a team of enthusiasts who love car and motorcycles more than anything else in the world, just like I do. Hashtag blessed

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