Thursday, March 23, 2023

Update: Skoda Slavia And Kushaq’s 10-inch Touchscreen Unit To Be Replaced With An 8-inch Screen

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An update from Skoda India Director on these recent developments of the Slavia and Kushaq:

“In light of the continued semi-conductor shortage, we have made some minor updates to the equipment in our INDIA 2.0 cars w.e.f. 1st June onwards, so that our customers face no undue delays in taking delivery of their ŠKODA. Customers will be appraised of the feature updates by their dealers. We at ŠKODA AUTO India thank you for choosing a ŠKODA and for standing by us in these times of supply shortages. Irrespective of the global situation, we shall always endeavor to provide the best buying and ownership experience with a ŠKODA.” Zac Hollis, Brand Director, SKODA Auto India

The Skoda Kushaq and Slavia share a number of features given that the models share the same underpinnings. However, this also means that supply constraints have been hitting both models equally and we could soon see a more drastic change in the cars as a result. Skoda Auto India will soon remove the 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the Kushaq and Slavia. Skoda has told dealers that both cars will get a smaller 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system instead of on the Ambition and Style variants. The updated variants will be dispatched next month to dealers and will come into effect from June 1, 2022.

The change is being made so that Skoda can honour the delivery timelines to its customers and will be informed of the feature changes as well. The change has come as a result of supply chain constraints from Visteon, the component maker that supplies that 10-inch unit to Skoda. With a shortage on the vendor front, Skoda is now sourcing the smaller 8-inch unit from Panasonic and is expected to be an identical unit in terms of functions and user experience, only with a smaller size. However, it will miss out on wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the Panasonic screen will get physical knobs for the volume button and other controls as opposed to a touch-only surface. If you still want the larger screen, Skoda will continue to offer the same on the top-spec Kushaq Monte Carlo edition that was launched recently.

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It’s unclear if the change will be permanent or if Skoda plans to revert to the 10-inch unit once the supply chain issues resolve. Having said that, the automaker is expected to hike the prices of the Slavia next month by up to Rs. 50,000, which will end the introductory price period on the compact sedan. It’s unclear if there will be a change in the Kushaq’s pricing as well.

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The semiconductor chip shortage has forced automakers to be more creative with their feature options. In light of a few missing features, Skoda introduced the Kushaq Active Peace and Ambition Classic variants that arrived with features like the touchscreen unit and automatic climate control. However, these were built as a stop-gap measure till the supply situation normalised. Skoda also sold the Kushaq with features like electrically-adjustable ORVMs missing at the time of delivery, which was to be retrofitted at a later date. It’s unlikely that Skoda will offer a similar option to switch from the 8-inch screen to a 10-inch screen to its customers.

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