Skoda to expand model line-up in India from 2017 onwards

  • PTI, Prague
  • Updated: Feb 23, 2015 10:57 IST

On a consolidation drive in India, Czech carmaker Skoda plans to gradually expand its product portfolio in the country from 2017 onwards.

"From 2017 onwards, we plan to gradually ramp up our product portfolio in the country. We want to do it methodically," Skoda Auto India Chairman and Managing Director Sudhir Rao told PTI.

The Volkswagen group company, that currently sells Superb, Octavia, Rapid sedans and SUV Yeti in India, has been focusing on customer satisfaction drive apart from efforts to lower cost of product development and increasing localisation to take on Asian rivals.

In the interim, Rao said the company will focus on introducing refreshed versions and new generation of existing models and start building plans for expansion from 2016 onwards.

The company had recently unveiled the latest version of its flagship model Superb sedan here and the model would be launched in India by the second half of 2016 as it seeks enhanced position in the value for luxury segment.

"This car marks the beginning of a new era for Skoda. In recent years, we have renewed and expanded our model range.

The new Skoda Superb demonstrates our aspirations in the automotive mid-class segment," Skoda CEO Winfried Vahland said during the global unveiling of the car here.

On investments in India, Rao said: "Investments are always ongoing. We are in India to stay and are always going to make a level of investment that is necessary to remain competitive in the country. We have never stopped investments in India. The question is of balancing how much to invest and when."

Reiterating the company's commitment towards 'Make in India' campaign, he said: "The results of investments will be much clearer from a customer's perspective from 2017 onwards."

For next 3 to 5 years, the biggest priority is customer satisfaction.

In 2014, the company made significant improvement in customer satisfaction and in 2015 also it will be the biggest priority, Rao said.

On localisation efforts for Indian market, Rao said: "The focus is to see that engineering process are done more in India by Indians. Every year we are gradually increasing our localisation percentages."

When asked if the company has plans to bring Fabia to India, he added: "There are no immediate plans to bring Fabia to India. We are continuing with our strategy of being in value luxury sedans and utility vehicles in the country."

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