Skoda to focus on Rapid sedan in India
The classy Rapid sedan has become the focal point of Skoda`s strategy for the Indian market. During an interview with Autocar India, Sudhir Rao, Managing Director of Skoda India indicated the company’s plans to adapt to the Indian market. He revealed that all experiments the company would do on its products and equipment especially in terms of adaptation would be done on the Rapid.
One of the experiments the company did was to introduce the robust Fabia hatchback in the Indian market. It was basically done to improvise Skoda`s sales volumes. But the experiment was not much of a success as the Fabia hatchback never managed to sell in huge numbers. This was mainly due to its premium pricing along with tough competition from market leaders like Maruti and Hyundai. Sudhir Rao revealed that the company will not stop targeting the value luxury segment it had gotten into since its entry in the Indian market 10 years ago. Till date the most successful model from the Skoda stable has been the Rapid, reason being the Rapid sedan has proved to be the best seller from the Skoda family. If we talk about sheer numbers, the company has sold around 44,000 units of the Rapid sedan since the launch of the car in November 2011.
Skoda`s whole Indian offensive has been spearheaded by the Rapid. Moreover, the company is not planning to introduce a sub-4 metre compact sedan as of now. Instead, Skoda is keen to provide upgrades to the Rapid to make it a successful model for the Skoda brand in India. The updated Rapid which is expected to hit the market in the near future, boasts of getting a new and reliable engine in the form of VW`s new 1.5 litre oil burner. The updated Rapid will also get VW`s famous DSG automatic gear box which will be first introduced in the Volkswagen Vento diesel variant. Skoda will try and retain the Rapid`s current styling cues, but will introduce more variants and multiple engine options.
Sudhir Rao further hinted that the company is looking at the Rapid sedan in its current state and how it can be modified to make it look like a Skoda but at the same time make it more appealing to the Indian tastes. Meanwhile Skoda India will continue to sell the Octavia, Yeti and Superb in the premium category.
Source : Hindustantimes