From left to right: Skoda member of the board for sales and marketing, Alain Favey; CEO Bernhard Maier; managing director of Skoda Auto India, Gurpratap Boparai; and member of the board for finance and IT, Klaus-Dieter Schürmann
Its parent company VW Group is investing €1 billion between 2019 and 2021 in what it is calling the India 2.0 project.
“Experts predict that in the next few years India is going to become the third-largest automotive market worldwide,” said Bernhard Maier, Skoda Auto’s CEO. “With our India 2.0 project we are now creating the right conditions for sustainable growth. Together with the Volkswagen brand, we are seeking a market share of up to 5% in the long term, depending on market and segment development.”
The carmaker said that all models designed and produced locally in India would be based on VW Group’s MQB platform, which already meets legal requirements for vehicle safety and performance in India that come into force in 2020. Furthermore, Skoda said that by standardising components, dimensions and production processes, costs would be lowered and production times reduced.
Last year Skoda delivered 17,100 vehicles to customers in India, a 31% increase in sales compared to the previous year. The cars are made at the Skoda Auto plant in Aurangabad, including the Superb, Octavia, Rapid and Kodiaq, and at VW India’s plant in Pune, which also makes the Skoda Rapid.
“Both of these factories are integral parts of the India 2.0 project, as well as the further development of the sales network,” said a spokesperson for Skoda.
With regard to future exports from India, the company is planning to make India an export hub for its newly developed models. “For instance, the Middle East constitutes an interesting region, which we are analysing,” said the spokesperson.
The VW Group as a whole currently has a 2.3% share of the car market in India and has made a couple of attempts in the past to establish a stronger foothold. As well as the Skoda Rapid the VW Pune facility makes the Volkswagen Polo, Ameo and Vento, along with 2.0-litre diesel engines.