Skoda prepares to launch new products in the Indian markets and reduce the cost of owning its cars

According to a top-level company official, Czech car manufacturer Skoda seeks to introduce various products, expand the sales and content network in its cars, as well as develop viable businesses for oneself in the highly competitive segment of Indian passenger vehicles.
As part of its efforts to become a viable player in the country, the company, which has been in charge of pushing forward with the India 2.0 project on behalf of Volkswagen Group since June 2018, plans to increase brand awareness, lower the cost of ownership of its vehicles for customers, and bring in financially strong dealer partners who also care about customer satisfaction. The car manufacturer, which sells only two products on the domestic market, plans to launch four products over the next year, including the new Compact SUV Kushaq. By the end of this year, the company will also expand its dealership to 150.
Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of Skoda Auto Volkswagen, India, said during an interview with PTI that the company was working on a medium-term plan to achieve about 5% of the Indian passenger car segment’s market share. He said the Volkswagen Group is investing EUR 1 billion in the Indian subcontinent to strengthen its presence. The company continues to be a non-marketable niche player with only two products, rapid and superb, within its portfolio and is preparing to enhance its market position in the internal market, said Skoda Auto India Brand Director, Zac Hollis. He pointed out that the company aims to promote four products in the country in the next 12 months to gain market share. He also said that the car manufacturer is preparing its sales network for the sale of one lakh car per year in the coming years, highlighting the company’s longer-term ambitions for the Indian market.
Hollis said that we have a very little market share at present but our plan is obviously to expand enormously and we are aiming this year to sell 30,000 vehicles in the country and more than double that next year. By the end of this year, we want 150 dealerships in the country. When the first product was launched, he said that Kushaq was first on sale in July. The second is the new Octavia to start at the end of April. The updated BS-VI version of Kodiak SUV will start in the third quarter, followed by a sedan under India 2.0 at the end of the year. Hollis said that he asked whether it was also looking at a four-meter SUV that was compact. We had two SUVs and two sedans. We evaluate which other kinds of the body could be brought in something beyond this. Still, we didn’t decide. We have to see where the chances are. He noted that the company is aimed at expanding its presence in both rural and urban regions by developing a sales network expansion. He said that the carmaker is currently looking to expand its dealer base. Only big and metro cities have a business case for dealers when they sell 10,000-15,000 vehicles per year. In the long run. The company is building the network to prepare its dealers to sell 1 lakh cars per year.
At the beginning of last year, the company began with 65 dealerships and ended with 100 outlets. When it starts Kushaq, Skoda will have 130 dealers in June-July, and by the end of the year, the figure will reach 150. It is also focusing on the right kind of long-term partners that are financially robust and willing to satisfy our customer. The car manufacturer also strives to improve customer experience and reduce ownership costs. In the past, we were criticized for the cost of owning our cars. In recent years we have been working to reduce parts costs. The cost of replacement parts will fall further with a planned location of 95 per cent in our cars, Hollis said.
When asked whether the company was going to invest additionally in the country, Boparai said: “If you make a big investment, you have to take care of the investment, too. So, as soon as they are signed up, we will announce them. We now have this enormous 1 billion euros investment which is expected to be completed next year”. During his driving in Kushaq, which would compete with Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, he noted that the company produced not only a superb product but also a great driver.
Boparai said It is also very secure and we have also dealt with past problems relating to ownership costs. With everything we believe, we have the correct mix, the correct formula to compete and we’re going to get a fair share of the pie. The compact SUV would be both a prince and a feature highly competitive product. The company released the model last week and plans for pricing in June, deliveries are planned to begin in July and would introduce only petroleum powertrain products into the country. He remarked that we see no more meaningful diesel.
In the framework of the project India 2.0 the Kushaq is the first production car. Under the Indian 2.0 Project, in 2018, the German car group Volkswagen announced that, as part of its strategy to strengthen its presence in India, it would invest EUR 1 billion between 2019 and 2021.

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