Skoda India is planning to launch two new SUVs in India to widen its portfolio and gain access to a wider share of the lucrative SUV market. One of them will be a 7-seat SUV that will sit above the facelifted Yeti that is due for a launch this year. The SUV will rival the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Hyundai Santa Fe and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, all of which are popular in the country. The Skoda 7 seat SUV will be based on the VW MQB platform that underpins a slew of cars from the stable of Volkswagen, which owns Skoda.
Mr. Werner Eichorn who is a board member of Sales and Marketing at Skoda has stated that the German marquee is betting big time on SUVs in India. He said, “We have good experience in 4X4s, so there is scope to grow in that sector. We are analysing if we can get a bigger SUV, which we call ‘A plus’, and internally we are convinced to do it. If the segment trends here stay the same, we have to think about an opportunity below the Yeti.”
Talking of a sub-Yeti SUV, the product is likely to share its underpinnings with the VW Taigun. Since the Volkswagen Taigun based compact SUV is likely to see a lengthened floor pan for India, the Skoda compact SUV is also expected to follow suit. Also, the platform sharing would help the Volkswagen group take advantage of economies of scale and have two of its entry level SUVs on sale in India.
Meanwhile, Skoda will be launching an entry level variant of the Yeti as well later this year which will be propelled by a 1.2 litre TSI motor and will be available in front wheel drive guise only. Skoda does not intend on bringing the DSG automatic gearbox mated Yeti anytime soon to India. We Indians love our SUVs and Skoda has finally started to understand that. Here’s hoping that we get to see the two new SUVs soon enough.