Skoda and Volkswagen have officially announced a new plan for India, in which the automakers will be investing a Billion Euros to develop new cars and upgrade production facilities. As of now there are four new cars in the pipeline, with Skoda set to launch two and Volkswagen handling two more. However, Skoda will develop these cars ground up and Volkswagen will just badge them and sell them in India. In fact, Skoda has already begun working on a low-cost variant of the MQB platform, meant specifically for a developing market like India. The platform will be called MQB A0, and will underpin all four new cars with Volkswagen and Skoda badges.
The first product will be a Skoda compact SUV, which will also get different styling and badging for use by Volkswagen. The SUV will be based on the Skoda Vision X concept that was shown recently. It’ll take on the Hyundai Creta and is expected to be priced at around Rs. 10 lakhs.
The production version of this SUV will be shown to the world in 2020 by Skoda. Volkswagen is also expected to unveil a VW badged SUV at a similar time. The Volkswagen badged SUV will essentially be the Skoda SUV with the same platform and engines, but with different styling and badging, and perhaps slightly different price positioning.
The other two cars that Skoda and Volkswagen will introduce in India beyond 2020 are C-Segment sedans, meant to replace the Skoda Rapid and the Volkswagen Vento. Like the SUV, the new sedans will use the MQB A0 platform, and are also expected to share engines and gearboxes with the SUV.
All four new cars will be built at Volkswagen’s Chakan factory, which will see a major re-configuration to accommodate the new platform. Skoda and Volkswagen cars such as the Octavia, Superb, Kodiaq and Passat will continue to be built at Skoda’s Aurangabad factory, which will be used exclusively for higher-end cars assembled through the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route.