If you are planning to buy mid-spec or range-topping variants of the Skoda Slavia and Volkswagen Virtus, we have got a piece of news which might make you rethink your decision. According to a report on T-BHP, both these sedans will be losing out on the premium 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system and rather will be getting an aftermarket 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system from Panasonic.
UPDATE: Official statement from Skoda India
Zac Hollis, Brand Director, SKODA Auto India, says
“In light of the continued semi-conductor shortage, we have made some minor updates to the equipment in our INDIA 2.0 cars w.e.f. 1st June onwards, so that our customers face no undue delays in taking delivery of their ŠKODA. Customers will be appraised of the feature updates by their dealers. We at ŠKODA AUTO India thank you for choosing a ŠKODA and for standing by us in these times of supply shortages. Irrespective of the global situation, we shall always endeavor to provide the best buying and ownership experience with a ŠKODA.”
The 10-inch infotainment system offered in both Skoda Slavia and Volkswagen Virtus is a premium-looking unit and is easily the best in the segment of midsize sedans, to which these two cars belong. This 10-inch unit is compatible with in-built connectivity with My Skoda Play Apps and My Skoda Connect (My Volkswagen Play Apps and My Volkswagen Connect in Virtus) and wireless smartphone connectivity with wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
This particular infotainment system had already become the segment-best for its crisp display and sharp-looking graphics. It also serves as a platform for the nice-sounding 8-speaker audio system in both cars, which is further assisted by a sub-woofer.
Smaller infotainment system
While there are no changes to the music system, the smaller 8-inch unit from Panasonic is reported to take its place. Both the cars are even set to lose out on a wireless charging pad, which is present in the lower centre console of both the cars.
While there is no confirmation regarding this piece of news, reports suggest that both Skoda and Volkswagen are settling down on this move to combat the global shortage of semiconductor chips. This shortage has already troubled Skoda in the recent past, as the lower-spec variants of Kushaq have lost out on the electrical folding operation of rear-view mirrors and automatic climate control.
This adoption of an aftermarket infotainment system seems to be a temporary move until the dust around the shortage of semi-conductor chips settles down. While the aftermarket unit from Panasonic is said to be a modern infotainment system, it will lack the finesse of the 10-inch factory-fitted system available in both these sedans.
What makes this move even more discouraging and atrocious is that Skoda will be hiking the prices of the Slavia by up to Rs 50,000 from 1st June. This steep price hike, and that too at the cost of a lower-spec infotainment system and wireless charger, is said to cost the positive aura surrounding the sedans, which have already created a lot of hype and rejuvenated the midsize sedan segment back. The Volkswagen Virtus, on the other hand, is yet to be launched in India and will go on sale from mid-June onwards.