Czech car maker Skoda has an infamous reputation for the after sales service it renders in India, an area that it is said to be working hard on to improve. While we’ll leave actual customers of the brand’s well built cars to judge the said improvements in after sales service, the big emerging story coming from Aurangabad is that the Fabia hatchback’s latest iteration could be on its way back to India. Citing poor sales, Skoda had discontinued the previous generation Fabia premium hatchback from the Indian car market in 2013. Even as an all-new model was launched by the brand last year, the new Fabia’s India entry was ruled out for the near term. Now though, things seem to be changing.
The 2015 Fabia is under consideration for the Indian car market, and the hatchback is likely to be hop on to the value luxury bandwagon. This is a strategy that Skoda has adopted for all its cars sold in India. The brand is now ready to price its cars above that of Volkswagen’s offerings in India, if the former are better equipped, much unlike its previous strategy where Skoda cars were always pegged below equivalent Volkswagen offerings in terms of pricing. Skoda’s new strategy kicked off with the 2013 Octavia, which sits above the Volkswagen Jetta sedan. Going forward, this strategy will be adhered to and the 2015 Fabia could emulate the Octavia.
Emulating the 2013 Octavia means equipping the 2015 Fabia hatchback with a wide swathe of new features and leveraging on the car’s larger interior dimensions, vis-a-vis the current Volkswagen Polo, which is now a generation older. Don’t be surprised if the new Fabia brought to India actually sits above the regular Polo in terms of price and positioning. A positioning that sandwiches the new car in between the regular Polo and the GT variants is expected. The 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel engine could be the prime engine offering on the new Fabia, with 1.2 liter MPI and TSI petrol motors being offered as the other engine options.
Manual and twin clutch automatic transmissions are also likely to make the cut in the new Fabia meant for India, quite unlike the older model, which had fewer engine and transmissions than the Polo sold alongside. It will also help that the 2015 Fabia sits on the PQ25 platform, the same one that underpins the Rapid sedan. In its second coming to India, a premium positioning that pits the new Fabia against the likes of the Hyundai Elite i20, the Honda Jazz, the Maruti Suzuki YRA and the Volkswagen Polo GT twins is likely. However, the new hatchback will still sit under the Rapid sedan in terms of positioning.