Skodas Yeti to hit Indian roads in H2 of 2010

Written by Yogima Seth | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 1 2010, 04:37am hrs
Expanding its product portfolio in the country, SkodaAuto India will launch its sport utility vehicle (SUV) Yeti in India during the second half of 2010. The vehicle, which was launched in the global markets around five months back, will be showcased at the upcoming auto expo in January and is expected to be priced around Rs 20 lakh, similar to Chevrolet Captiva and Honda CR-V.

Globally, we have 1.2 litre and 1.8 litre petrol versions and a 2.0 litre diesel variant of Yeti. The company is currently evaluating the technical and commercial feasibility of the vehicle in India and we have the option of bringing in both the versions in India as we launch the vehicle in the second half of 2010, Ashutosh Dixit, senior general manager (marketing), SkodaAuto India told FE. He added that the vehicle will be sold as a completely knock down (CKD) unit in India and imported from Czech Republic, because of huge difference in duty between a completely built unit and a CKD. Apart from Yeti, which would be a showstopper for Skoda in the auto expo this time, the company will also showcase Skoda Combi, Fabia Greenline, Fabia Sport and Laura RS.

The greater emphasis on Fabia is in line with the companys plan to increase the production of vehicle and ensure that it contributes nearly 50% to the companys total sales in 2010.

We are expecting 33% jump in sales next year at 20,000 units as compared to 15,000 units in 2009 and Fabia is expected to constitute nearly 10,000 units as we enhance the production of the vehicle from an average of 800 units now to 1,200-1,500 units next year, depending on the growth of top-end category in the compact segment, Dixit said. The company has shifted the production of Fabia to its Chakan plant where the vehicle shares the assembly line with Volkswagen Polo.

According to Dixit, 2009 would be flat for Skoda vis--vis last year as the first few months were the period of financial crisis and tightening of credit because of which sales had taken a hit.