Skoda India is at it again. After witnessing a drop in sales, Skoda like other auto manufacturers has decided to go the compact sedan way & is currently considering a sub 4 meter vehicle for India.
The compact sedan category has become a darling of all the auto manufacturers in India owing to the excise duty benefits available & also due to it walking the thin line between the hatchback & sedan segments. Sedans have always been a much desired product for the Indian car buyer given the amount of space & versatility they project in addition to fulfilling social & upward mobility aspirations of the customer. ‘Gaadi toh badi honi chahiye‘ is an oft repeated phrase and ergo you have more & more people showing an interest in the sedan segment. unfortunately like most developing nations, India has a definite traffic problem & going by the congestion in most of our cities it translates into longer commute times & frequent traffic jams all over.
Considering all the above mentioned reasons a compact sedan makes more sense for both the customer & the manufacturer. The examples are right there for us to see, the Tata Indigo eCS, Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Honda Amaze etc. In fact at the ongoing Auto Expo, Ford India also showed an interest in entering this segment &we will surely see a lot many other products being launched by other manufacturers too.
Now, coming back to Skoda India- at the recently concluded launch of the facelifted Skoda Superb, we also got a confirmation that Skoda is actively thinking of reinforcing their presence in the sedan segment & also trying to use its premium image to launch more products in this segment. To quote Pawel Szuflak, Director of Sales & Marketing at Skoda India
“We are working on the strategy to develop the brand in the luxury space. We are looking at different products, including the sub-four-metre compact sedan, as an answer to the growing aspirations of the Indian customers to move to higher products”
Skoda India has also been busy re-structuring itself & streamlining its operations. They have recently shut down their after-sales office in Pune & is now operating the division from its Mumbai corporate office & Aurangabad plant. Skoda officials however remained tight lipped & refused to comment on what platform would be used to develop this new compact sedan offering. Speculation is rife that either the Skoda Rapid or the new Skoda CitiGo hatchback platform could be used as a base for the platform.
We would also not be surprised if a new platform were to be introduced in order to develop further new offerings. For all we know we could also see some bits from the Volkswagen Taigun mini SUV platform given that Skoda & VW products do share parts from the same bin.
While analyses & rumours continue to fly back & forth, we at AutoColumn think that the best approach is to wait & watch what comes forth. Keep watching this space for more & remember, you read it right here on 4wheelreviews.
Source: Economic Times