Skoda basks in success of Slavia and Kushaq. But sub-four-meter model in plans?

  • Skoda is celebrating the success of Kushaq and Slavia in India but is aware that the real volume play is happening elsewhere.
Skoda Kushaq and Slavia are the power offerings from the Czechs in India.
Skoda Kushaq and Slavia are the power offerings from the Czechs in India.

Skoda Auto India is on a path of resurgence that is powered by Slavia and Kushaq. The sedan and the SUV have tag-teamed to add wind to the sails of Skoda in India, and the recent five-star safety rating in Global NCAP crash tests comes as another shot in the arm. But while the Slavia and Kushaq will continue to lead the charge for the Czechs here, the company top boss in the country says he will keep a close watch on the prevailing and emerging trends here.

The Kushaq is a mid-size SUV that was the first model from the brand under its India 2.0 project which emphasises localisation for better price competitiveness. The model was first launched in June of 2021 and Skoda followed it up with the launch of Slavia in early 2022. But while Kushaq plays in a lucrative segment, the Slavia has to compete in a low-traction sedan space where it has managed to garner some notable attention. Both models combined to see Skoda deliver around 50,000 units in all of 2022, a first.

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But for Petr Solc, Brand Director at Skoda Auto India, constantly evolving is a big part of the game in a market as vibrant as India. “Of course we would like to expand, not just expand our dealer network but our product rank. We have aspirations to grow in volume and for this, we need more products," he told HT Auto in a recent chat. “We have these two models (Slavia and Kushaq) and the updated Kodiaq. We are also working on the Superb front. Then there is the first units of Enyaq EV planned for this fiscal as a pilot as an FBU (Fully-Built Unit)."

Solc also acknowledges that much of the volume play in India is currently happening in the sub-four-meter SUV space, a segment where Skoda has no presence at the moment. “It is the fastest-growing segment and of course, it is under consideration. We would like to explore it," he said, without giving away much in terms of potential models or timeline estimates.

But where Skoda is planning to step out and bat big in the immediate future is exports. “We want to establish India as a major export hub for Skoda Auto. Not only is the local market important but so is the country as a big base for manufacturing for overseas markets," said Solc. Skoda currently exports Made-in-India units to West Asia and North Africa, and is planning to export vehicle kits for assembly in Vietnam from next year onwards.

First Published Date: 08 May 2023, 09:44 AM IST
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