Skoda Auto India Private Ltd (SAIPL) has appointed Gurpratap Boparai as its new Managing Director. Boparai was previously the CEO of Fiat India Automobiles Ltd and will take over the management of SAIPL starting 2 April 2018. The 48-year-old has many years of experience in the international automotive industry. He will be reporting directly to Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier. The Czech automobile manufacturer says that the Indian market plays an important role in its global growth strategy. The Volkswagen Group recently commissioned Skoda Auto to evaluate a global architecture for volume segments with the modular MQB A0 IN system. Skoda's strategic approach is to launch this localised platform on the Indian market in 2020 when the more stringent crash and emissions standards come into force.
Skoda currently offers four models on the Indian subcontinent – the Octavia, Superb, Rapid and most recently launched Kodiaq. The Rapid is manufactured at the Pune plant, while the Octavia, Superb and Kodiaq models are produced in Aurangabad where the company headquarters are located. Skoda vehicles are sold in India through 70 dealerships and 70 service centres are available to customers.
Skoda launched the Kodiaq SUV in October 2017 at a price of Rs 34.49 lakh. It comes with the same 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that does duty on Volkswagen Tiguan. The engine produces 148 hp of power and 340 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox with an all-wheel drive as standard.
A few months before the Kodiaq, Skoda also launched the Rapid Edition X (previously called Monte Carlo edition) at prices starting Rs 10.75 lakh. It is powered by a 105hp, 1.6-litre engine paired with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox. The Rapid Edition X diesel comes with the same 110hp, 1.5-litre engine as the standard car, mated to a five-speed manual as well as a seven-speed DSG gearbox.