Skoda India’s strategy for the Indian market will revolve around the Rapid sedan. In an interview with Autocar India, Sudhir Rao, MD of Skoda India said, “We have to adapt our ways to India. Whatever experiments that we do on our products in terms of adaption will be done on the Rapid."
Skoda had introduced the Fabia hatchback in an attempt to improve sales volumes but owing to its premium pricing and stiff competition, the car could never clock big sales numbers. But Rao reiterated that the company had decided that it would not give up targeting the "value-luxury" segment it had gotten into in the last ten years. The Rapid sedan has been Skoda’s best-seller, having sold around 44,000 units since its launch in November 2011.
Skoda’s entire Indian offensive will be spearheaded by the Rapid, but unlike Volkswagen, it has no immediate plans of introducing a sub-4-metre compact sedan. The Rapid will instead be given upgrades to try and make it a high-selling product. The updated car that is expected soon will get a new engine in the form of Volkswagen's new 1.5-litre diesel. The upcoming Skoda Rapid will also get the option of a DSG automatic 'box that will first be seen on the new VW Vento diesel. The Indian Rapid will retain the styling cues of the European model and possibly get more engine options and variants in the future.
"We are basically looking at the Rapid as it is currently configured and how we can modify that and make it, still a Skoda, but yet a little bit more Indian. Depending on how the results of that pan out in the next six months, we will look at applying some of those same approaches to other variants," said Rao.
Skoda India will continue to sell the Yeti, Superb and the Octavia as the premium packages they are.