After three successive years of sales decline and a protracted slumber at launching products, Czech carmaker Skoda is now planning to launch at least three products in India with an aim at a double-digit growth during the year.
Skoda’s sales have more than halved from 34,089 units in 2011-12 to just 15,003 units in 2014-15 as it went into a self-inflicted consolidation mode, which meant shoring up profits and cleaning messy dealerships. The company said it wants to get back into the game as the process is now nearing its end. All its three launches would be sedans.
“Next year, you will see us launch three products including the new Superb,” said Ashutosh Dixit, director, Skoda India. “We are still working on getting our house in order and though the numbers don’t show, we have achieved a lot. We are growing at around 8% this year as well, but our wish is to grow in double digits next year.”
Globally, Skoda is considered the entry-level brand for Volkswagen Group, while VW has a more premium positioning. Though, in India the tables have turned and Skoda is increasingly catering to the more affluent consumers. It has already discontinued compact car Fabia (Volkswagen has the Polo), while is not interested in a smaller sub-4 meter version of sedan Rapid.
Volkswagen will launch a smaller version of the Vento next year that will cost less than the existing car due to lower duties.
“For now we are not interested in a smaller Rapid,” Dixit added. “We want to cater to the top end of any segment we are present in. That is where the profits are higher. There will be growth even if it is not a surge.”