ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS Czech automobile brand Skoda had its best year in India in 2022; sales more than doubled aided by good demand for the Kushaq SUV and Slavia sedan – first of the two products based on Volkswagen’s India specific MQB-AO-IN platform. The company hopes to ride on the momentum and sees double digit growth in 2023.
While the Kushaq and Slavia will continue to be the work horses for Skoda this year, it is also focusing on bringing new products to the market with an aim to achieve 1,00,000 unit sales by 2025. As the demand for electric vehicles is rising, Skoda will launch its first EV in the country in the next financial year (2023-24), Petr Solc, brand director, Skoda Auto India told reporters on Friday.
The Enyaq iV, manufactured at Skoda’s manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic, is already sold in a few countries and has been spotted testing in India over the last few months. Solc said the Enyaq will be launched as a completely built unit (CBU) here initially and depending on the demand it receives, the company will look at next steps, including localisation and even more EV launches.
"Electrification is coming and we would like to be part of it. Skoda is already exporting Enyaq out of Europe to couple of markets and we would like to be the next market where Enyaq will be present. We are already testing Enyaq in India and in 2023-24 its definitely our intention to it bring to the market here as the first step, test the market with the first electric product and then if we see a good traction, we may think about expanding in the electric area," Solc said.
The Enyaq iV will compete with the Kia EV 6, which is also sold in India as a CBU and Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, which will be launched this month and will be assembled here.
Skoda sold 53,721 units in India in 2022, up 125 per cent from a year ago. India is now among the top three markets for Skoda. It expects double digit growth in the country this year.
“For 2023, we shall build our path towards accelerating growth with more product actions, ensure that our India 2.0 products are well established, steadily grow our network reach, continue with our laser-sharp focus on customer satisfaction and deepen our strategic focus on widening the portfolio with both ICE and EV,” said Solc.
Skoda had launched the Kushaq SUV in July 2021 and Slavia sedan in March 2022. Volkswagen sells the Taigun SUV and Virtus sedan based on the same platform in the country.
Skoda also sells the Kodiaq SUV in India as a CBU. Last year, the allocations for India were sold out within 20 days. This year, its expecting better and stable supplies of the Kodiaq. The company also sells the Octavia and Superb sedans in the country, but production will soon be stopped as new set of regulations, essentially the phase two of BS6 emission norms kick in. However, Solc clarified that the two models remained in focus and the company is exploring how they could be reintroduced meeting the new regulations.
"We are also focusing on these models as part of the product strategy going forward. BS6A is one chapter, everyone needs to move to BS6B from April onwards. We are at the moment analysing how to bring these models also on the BS6B,” he said.
Apart from launching new products, expanding its network and enhancing customer satisfaction has also been in focus, said Solc. Skoda currently has 240 touch points across 140 cities and the company will enter newer markets as it looks to be close to its customers, said Solc.
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