Skoda to treble sales in 3 yrs; launch one model a yr

Written by Ronojoy Banerjee | Ronojoy Banerjee | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 18 2010, 06:19am hrs
Skoda Auto India, group company of German automobile major Volkswagen, plans to treble its current India sales from 20,000 cars to 60,000 cars in three years. It will also launch at least one model a year.

We will introduce a minimum of one new car every year (in India). We will also fill the gaps, where we are not present, Thomas Kuehl, director, sales and marketing, and board member, Skoda Auto, told FE.

The company is working on developing a small car that would be priced at Rs 3-5 lakh. The car that is set to be rolled out by 2011 would be the company's maiden foray into the A-2 segment, dominated by Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motors and Tata Motors.

Kuehl said that apart from the proposed small car, the company would look to enter the sedan category with a car in the price point of Rs 6-10 lakh next year and an SUV in the Rs 12-20 lakh category. It is putting final touches to a brand new refurbished Fabia the premium hatchback that is set to hit Indian roads by October-December.

He said the company would look to phase out the old Fabia made at Skoda-Volkswagen's Chakan plant. We used to makearound 800 Fabia cars in a month, but now it has been reduced to around 400-500 units since we are phasing it out, Kuehl said. Skoda is also working on a differentiation programme to make its cars look and feel different. This policy would be introduced in India with the launch of the refurbished Fabia.

We will look to bring in customisation at a later date but as of now we want to give our customers the choice to make their cars look different from others with the same model. There would be changes in the head lamps and applications making the car look very different, he said. It may also look to set up a R&D centre in India to source technology, though this is not an immediate plan.