Skoda considers withdrawing from China; focusing more on India: Report
Czech carmaker Skoda Auto is mulling withdrawing from world's largest car maket, China, due to growing and intense competition. The company will take the final decision next year, CEO Klaus Zellmer was quoted as saying by the weekly magazine Automobilwoche. "The competition is very intense there, so we will consider, together with our Chinese joint venture partner, how we want to proceed," he said.
He added that if the company wants to focus its energy, it's worth checking all scenarios and then deciding. Skoda is currently looking to majorly focus its energy on India. In China, the chief executive said the company could consider simply selling cars there rather than also producing them there.
Last month, it was reported that India is now the third largest market for Skoda, and bigger than China. Skoda sold more cars in India in the first 10 months of this year than it did in China in the same time period.
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A renewed focus under the India 2.0 strategy may have worked in favour of the Czechs and Kushaq emerged as the first model from the MQB-A0-IN platform which allows for up to 95 per cent of the parts to be localized.
Skoda also claims to have worked to expand its sales and service network in India while also bringing down maintenance costs. The ‘Made-in-India’ models are also being exported from here to countries in the Gulf region. And moving forward, Skoda says it plans to assemble both Kushaq and Slavia in Vietnam with parts exported from its facility in Chakan.
In the overall scheme of things, Skoda may still be a fair distance away from the big league players in India but it is banking on the ongoing thrust to light the way forward.