Recently, Ford announced that it will stop manufacturing in India and will be only focusing on CKD products. Due to this, a Twitter user asked Zac Hollis, Director of Sales, Service, and Marketing of Skoda Auto India whether Skoda is also thinking of leaving India or not.
To this, Zac replied, “Why would we invest 8,000 CR into India over the last 3 years if we were thinking of leaving the market?” The Czech manufacturer is currently leading the INDIA 2.0 Strategy that was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020. Skoda wants to increase their geographical presence to 125 cities and target 50 new cities. They are continuously working on opening new dealerships and service centres so that the brand is more accessible to their existing and new customers. They are also listening and taking feedback from the consumers continuously. For instance, recently they added a tyre pressure monitoring system and 6 airbags to the top-end variant of the Kushaq when the customers asked for it.
The manufacturer recently launched the Skoda Kushaq which is an all-new mid-size SUV based on MQB A0 IN platform that is specifically developed for the Indian market. The Kushaq is doing quite well in its segment which is one of the most competitive segments of the automobile industry. It has already collected 10,000 bookings.
It starts at Rs. 10.49 lakhs ex-showroom and goes up to Rs. 17.59 lakhs ex-showroom. The Kushaq competes against the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun, Renault Duster and Nissan Kicks. Because of the way the Kushaq is priced, it also goes against the MG Hector, Mahindra XUV700 and Tata Harrier.
Some of the Kushaq owners have faced an issue with the fuel pump. Due to this, the SUV just refused to start. Skoda has already started working on fixing the issue by replacing the fuel pump with a more robust one. This fault is only with the 1.0 TSI engine. Skoda also offers a more powerful 1.5 TSI with the Kushaq.
New mid-size sedan
Skoda is also working on a new mid-size sedan that will be positioned above the current Rapid. Zac Hollis has also confirmed that it will be more premium and will be larger than the Rapid. It will also be based on the MQB A0 IN platform and will share the same 1.0 TSI and 1.5 TSI and gearboxes with the Kushaq. Internally, it is being called ANB and Skoda has already filed for Slavia nameplate. So, we expect the new mid-size sedan will be called Skoda Slavia. It will be launched by the end of this year and the deliveries are expected to start from early next year.
Rapid Matte Edition
Skoda is also working on a Matte Edition of the Rapid. It will be finished in a matte grey paint job with a glossy black finish for the front grille, alloy wheels, outside rearview mirrors and front bumper spoiler. It will also get Alcantara seat covers. There will be no change to the engine or the gearbox. The Rapid Matte Edition is expected to launch during the festive season this year. You can read more about it by clicking here.