Skoda to remain a premium brand in India
Skoda Auto has been in the Indian market for some time but it is yet to establish itself as a key player in terms of sheer volumes. There is news that Skoda is trying to reposition itself as a premium brand and is looking to achieve sustainable profits over sales volume. India has been a tough market to crack for the Czech carmaker.
The local management has been given a lot more responsibility than before to run the operations. Sudhir Rao managing director of the Indian unit is heading the revamp. The top management has made it clear that Skoda will always be a positioned as a premium brand. The Indian market is very price sensitive but Skoda feels that customers will slowly begin to appreciate the good build quality, safety features and excellent drivability. Skoda cars have been known to have good build quality compared to its rivals, the company was marred with a poor after sales support which was not helping the brand. The management at Skoda is trying to change the perception that potential customers have about the after sales support.
Customer satisfaction and support have become top priority and Skoda is reviewing these processes and concerns every week. In 2012 alone due to unavailability of parts more than 1500 cars were at Skoda dealerships for repairs. We hear that now the number has come down to 500 and repeat repairs which were high at 30% have shrunk to the single digit. The Indian unit of Skoda used to figure among the top five markets for the company which slipped to No. 7 in 2013 and incurred a loss of 82.25 crore.
Under the guidance of Sudhir Rao the company is working on rationalising the products. The company is also contemplating the relaunch of Skoda Fabia and a global SUV, but not before 2016-2017. Skoda needs to gets its act right this time.
Skoda Auto has world class products which can become best sellers if backed by strong after sales and customer satisfaction support. Till then we can only wait and watch!
Source: Economic Times