Skoda is preparing to enter the sub-4 meter compact-SUV segment, which is currently dominated by the likes of the Maruti Brezza and Tata Nexon. Skoda is working on a new product, this information was revealed by Chief Executive Thomas Schaefer. The new compact SUV will be the first product under INDIA 2.5 plan and the production is expected to start by January 2025. The manufacturer has already implemented the INDIA 2.0 Strategy with the Kushaq and Slavia. Both of them have received a good response from the Indian market. Skoda also increased their reach by opening new service centres and dealerships across India.
Skoda’s new sub-4 meter compact SUV will be based on MQB A0 IN which they are already using for the Kushaq and Slavia. In fact, Volkswagen is also using the same platform for Taigun and Virtus. MQB A0 IN platform is a heavily localized version of the MQB A0 platform that Volkswagen and its subsidiaries use for products sold globally.
This platform has a wheelbase of 2,651 mm. Currently, it is the Mahindra XUV300 that has the longest wheelbase in the segment. It is not yet known whether Skoda will alter the wheelbase for the upcoming compact SUV or not. This is because if the wheelbase is too long, the boot space really suffers as the vehicle needs to be under 4 metres. This is the reason, the XUV300 has the smallest boot space when compared to its rivals. It measures just 257 litres.
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Thomas Schaefer said, “The cornerstone for this is to have total control of the platform because that’s where all the cost is and that’s when we can make it happen or not. This is why we worked so hard to get control of the platform MQB A0 global. By working together with our other regions like South America, Africa, Russia and India, it will be the scale we need to get out of the platform to make it feasible in the sub-4m segment. It’s on the cards, the team is almost there. We need more localisation, but as usual we will bring this home. The MQB A0 IN platform is ready for this.”
The compact SUV will be made in India and will also be exported to other countries. It would be exported to Mexico, South East Asia and Africa. So, it would need to look attractive so that it can also find buyers in the international markets. The sub-4 metre segment is specific to India because of which a completely new product needs to be made for our country. This is one of the reasons why Volkswagen is not bringing the new generation Polo because it measures more than 4 metres and would attract more taxes.
He said, “The sub-4m segment is very specific for India. Thus, we would like to have a car that looks so good, while also is sub-4m, that we can use it for exports. I have challenged our team to do exactly this and not only make it shorter to fit the rules, but make it to be something for exports as well,”
Once launched, the new compact SUV will go against Maruti Suzuki Brezza, Toyota Urban Cruiser, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Mahindra XUV300 and Tata Nexon.
Via Autocar India
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