Volkswagen Group has given its India responsibilities to Skoda Auto India as it plans a massive comeback in the Indian market with its new India 2.0 project. Volkswagen Group will invest Rs 1 billion (Rs 7,900 Crore) in the India market to introduce new cars/SUVs, increase manufacturing and localisation and aims to have a 5% combined market share (Volkswagen and Skoda) in India in next 7 years by 2025. Skoda Auto India will develop its MQB A0 platform specific to the Indian market locally and the first product based on the MQB A0-IN will be a mid-size compact SUV and will be introduced in the market in the second-half of 2020.
Globally, Skoda Auto will launch 19 new cars/SUVs in the market and will also have 10 all-electric cars. Dr Bernhard Maier, CEO, Skoda Auto also confirmed that once the electric vehicles (EVs) start to gain popularity in India, the company will not hold back launching electric cars in India. Volkswagen Group-owned Skoda will invest €2 billion in e-mobility and new mobility services globally.
India is expected to be the third largest car market by 2025. Volkswagen Group plant in Aurangabad will see getting substantial investments to increase its capacity. Volkswagen and Skoda hope that India will be its global hub for compact cars. With the first product launching in 2020, starting in 2021, Volkswagen and Skoda will launch one new product each every year until 2025. Expect 11 new cars/SUVs from Skoda and Volkswagen by 2025. Dr Bernhard agreed that Volkswagen companies including Volkswagen and Skoda has struggled in the Indian market over last 2-3 years and this new plan Skoda India 2.0 will help the company to bounce back and make its investments profitable.
Gurpratap Boparai, MD, Skoda Auto India will be leading this project for Skoda and he is very clear that ‘Skoda is here to be a significant player and will no longer be a marginal player in this dynamic country’. He’s confident on offering good vehicles in India at prices that amount to a paradigm shift in the automotive industry. “We will manufacture new compact cars and SUVs in India based on localised MQB A0 platform, which already fulfils the future safety and emission norms in the country,” he added.
Skoda also plans to make India as its global hub for compact cars and in the second phase, it will focus on exporting vehicles to other profitable markets from India. Skoda and VW will have several compact cars/SUVs from this new platform and the first will be a Hyundai Creta rival with its launch expected in 2020. Skoda Auto India has already begun the work on this new project and plans to gradually create 4000-5000 new jobs in India.
Dr Bernhard Maier also hinted that Skoda Karoq SUV will launch in India before the launch of this new compact SUV. Gurpratap Boparai said that we are working on bringing in Skoda Karoq and that plan is independent of India 2.0 project. We expect Skoda Karoq to launch in India in early 2019.