Volkswagen Group has confirmed that its Skoda brand will now play a bigger role for the Volkswagen Group to lead its operations in India. The company revealed its 'India 2.0' project under which the company will focus to further improve upon its market share in India and confirms the rollout of new compact cars and SUVs based on the company's popular MQB platform. It is important for VW to quickly plan a huge comeback in the Indian market.
VW's Board of Management and Supervisory Board has given a go-ahead to Skoda to lead operations in India and Bernhard Maier, CEO, Skoda says this highlights the trust VW Group has in the Skoda team.
It was about 1.5 years ago, Skoda was given the task to develop a sustainable product plan for Skoda and other Volkswagen Group companies for the Indian market. Volkswagen and Skoda's new India 2.0 project will design new cars and SUVs here in India and will be locally manufactured at its plant in Chakan, Pune. The company further confirms that all the new upcoming cars by Skoda will be based on the Volkwagen's MQB platform. This VW's platform already meets all the legal requirements for the Indian market and meets the new safety norms for cars in India that comes into effect starting 2020.
Skoda will lead the charge for VW Group in India and plans to bring in new sub-compact cars and SUVs based on its MQB A0 platform which in India is known as the MQB-A0-IN. Skoda says that it is fully prepared to make the India-based cars and SUVs. The MQB A0 platform will see Skoda challenging the likes of Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Ford Ecosport by entering into hatch and sub-compact segments. The first vehicle based on Skoda's A0-IN platform will be launched in India in 2020.
Bernhard Maier is convinced that the company now has a suitable approach to launch right cars, SUVs into the Indian market at the right time. “I am confident that we can make the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project a success” he added. Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director, Skoda Auto will lead this new project in India.
Skoda is confident that with the MQB platform it will now be able to standardise components, dimensions and production processes which will help in lowering the overall cost and time required to roll out a new car. Furthermore, the MQB increases flexibility when developing new vehicles. Most of the technical development will take place in India.
Earlier in March 2018, we had already confirmed that Volkswagen Group will deploy its Skoda brand to enter mass-market segment in India. The new platform being developed by Skoda will further also help Volkswagen to bring in new cars and finally, we might see an all-new generation of Volkswagen Polo in next two years. We expect Skoda to bring in premium small cars in India and not venture into sub 5 lakh segment.
The future small car built by Volkswagen Group for the Indian market would be more expensive than the likes of Renault Kwid and Maruti Suzuki Alto. Expect the company to build cars rivalling Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai i20 in India. After making the platform further cost effective by increasing localization, more products including a sub-4-meter SUV might be possible to counter Ford Ecosport and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza.