Going forward, ŠKODA AUTO is taking on an even more important role for Volkswagen Group in the development of the Indian car market. As part of the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, Volkswagen Group’s position in this important growing market is to be strengthened for the long term. “Volkswagen Group has tasked us with this responsibility, thereby highlighting the level of trust that Volkswagen Group’s management places in the expertise of the ŠKODA team,” said ŠKODA CEO, Bernhard Maier, after the Board of Management and Supervisory Board had given the project the go-ahead. Around one and a half years ago, ŠKODA AUTO was tasked with developing a sustainable model campaign for the ŠKODA and Volkswagen brands in the Indian volume segments.
All models designed and produced locally in India in the future will be based on Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, which already fulfils the stricter legal requirements for India that come into force in 2020. With the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, ŠKODA AUTO is also taking over responsibility for the sub-compact MQB A0 platform, initially with a focus on India (MQB-A0-IN). Preparations for the India-based development and production of the new, technologically pioneering volume models for the ŠKODA and Volkswagen brands are already in full swing. The introduction of the first ŠKODA model based on the A0-IN platform is scheduled for 2020.
“We are firmly convinced that – after one and a half years of intensive work – together with Volkswagen we now have a suitable approach to bring the right vehicles into the Indian market at the right time. We will present the first model built on the new MQB-A0-IN platform as early as 2020,” said ŠKODA AUTO CEO, Bernhard Maier, adding, “I am confident that we can make the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project a success.”
The project will be headed by the Managing Director of Skoda Auto India Private Ltd, Gurpratap Boparai, who is a renowned expert on the Indian car market.
What are the fundamental advantages of the MQB? By standardising components, dimensions and production processes, costs are lowered and production times are reduced. Furthermore, the MQB increases flexibility when developing new vehicles. Most of the technical development will take place in India.
The continued internationalisation of ŠKODA AUTO is one of the cornerstones of its 2025 Strategy. In 2017, ŠKODA AUTO was able to increase deliveries in India by more than 30 per cent compared to the previous year. The growing sales figures in India emphasise that the ŠKODA model range is attractive for Indian customers and provides an excellent foundation for further growth.
The ŠKODA brand has an excellent starting point for the planned growth in India: active on the Indian subcontinent since 2001, the brand has consistently increased sales in recent years. Last year, a total of 17,100 ŠKODA vehicles (+31.4%; 2016: 13,000 units) were delivered to customers in India. The first ŠKODA cars were sold there way back in the 1930s. Today, Skoda Auto India Private Ltd offers four ŠKODA models: the RAPID, OCTAVIA, SUPERB and, since October 2017, the KODIAQ. The RAPID is produced at the Pune plant, whilst the OCTAVIA, SUPERB and KODIAQ models are manufactured in Aurangabad, which is also where the company’s headquarters are located.