Skoda aims to treble sales, expand product range in India this year


Czech automaker Skoda aims to treble its sales in India this year over 2021, on the back of new product launches and enhanced the number of customer touchpoints across the country, a senior company official said on Thursday. With its mid-size SUV Kushaq receiving a robust response, the company ended 2021 with total sales of 23,858 units, an over two-fold increase from 10,387 units in 2020.

“This year we intend to treble our sales over 2021,” Skoda Auto India Brand Director Zac Hollis told reporters in a virtual press conference.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic and global chip shortage, the company stuck to its outlook and recorded a 130 per cent growth in 2021, he noted.

“The automaker will build on this strong momentum and focus on the diverse range of products, with constant product actions. At the same time, we look to set new standards of customer satisfaction and further enhance the after-sales experience, continue with our network expansion and treble our sales volume,” Hollis said.

On the new product launches, he noted that the company would have six product actions during the year, including new model launches.

“Deliveries of Slavia would begin in March, while new Kodiaq is set for launch next week,” Hollis stated.

He also said that the company is looking to have a market share of 10 per cent for Kushaq in the highly competitive mid-sized SUV segment.

Besides, Skoda is aiming for a leadership position for Slavia in the mid-sized sedan segment in the country, Hollis added.

“It will not happen in 2022 but it is possible in the long term,” he said.

On entering the electric vehicle segment, Hollis stated: “We won’t launch an electric car within the next 12 months. In fact, we’re unlikely to launch an electric car within the next three years (2025)”.

The company would launch an electric car in India in future but for that, it has to make sure that the model is localised so that it is affordable and generates volumes, he added.

The company is looking at bringing Enyaq (EV model) to India next year as a fully built-up unit to test the market.

When asked about the company’s plans to launch a small car in the country, Hollis said:

“At the moment, there are no short term plans for a hatchback, but we will launch further body styles as part of the India 2.0 project”.

He noted that multiple body styles could be introduced on the localised modular MQB A0 IN platform that has been specially adapted by Skoda for the Indian market.

“We will bring more products on the back of the MQB A0 IN platform with different body styles. At the moment, I can’t give any timing or any details on that, but we will bring further products…the hard work is in developing the platform…Now, it’s a matter of working out what are the best body styles going forward. We have plans, but I’m not ready to announce them yet,” Hollis said.

On the company’s stated aims to achieve a 5 per cent market share in the passenger vehicle segment, he said that it is a joint target for both Skoda and Volkswagen entities in the country.

“The plan that we’ve set is to sell 1 lakh cars (annually) by 2025,” Hollis said.

On the semiconductor shortage issue, he stated that Volkswagen Group is prioritising the company in terms of supplies.

“So, we have a good supply, certainly for the next couple of months. I don’t know what the situation will be like after that, but I think I can give confidence to everybody that we are a priority market for Volkswagen Group worldwide because we are launching cars and we are getting the supply of chips,” Hollis noted.

On sales network expansion, the company aims to add 30 dealerships this year, taking the total number to 180.

Besides, the company is looking to enhance the number of service stations in the country to 160 from 93 at present.

Skoda plans to be present across 145 cities in 2022 as compared to 117 cities in 2021, Hollis said.

“With all these steps, the total number of customer touchpoints in India would go up to 225 this year from 175 last year,” he added.



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