Czech carmaker Skoda is contemplating bringing in a new affordable hatchback specifically for the car market of India. It will be based on the new MQB A0 platform which Skoda has been given responsibility to develop by its parent company Volkswagen. This budget platform will be underpinning multiple cars under both the Skoda and Volkswagen brands in India in future. Skoda finance boss, Klaus-Dieter Schuermann has hinted at a new affordable hatchback model, which will not be an entry-level hatch segment contender in India, and will be more sophisticated.
Scheurmann said that a future small Skoda or VW in India would be more expensive than that of the Kwid. He added by saying that the Kwid is not really the company’s rival vehicle. The company’s contender will be a bit more sophisticated. He further said that Renault might have found its success in its own way, but that is not the standard Skoda/Volkswagen is considering.
Thus, he made it pretty clear that the planned car is not going to fight in the Indian entry-level hatch segment. So, if this new upcoming planned Skoda hatch is not going to be a Renaut Kwid rival, then it can be safely said that it will be a Maruti Swift rival in India.
It has also come to light that Volkswagen group will take a decision on this new affordable hatchback project for the Indian car market by the middle of the current calendar year. Apart from this yet to be certain hatchback project, Skoda has many more big things planned for the car market of India, which have been already confirmed. These include a new compact SUV model which will be locking its horns with the Hyundai Creta, a new C-segment sedan model that will be taking the place of the aging Rapid, and a premium hatchback model which will be taking on the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai Elite i20 and the likes. Thus, Skoda is eyeing all the right segments in India, which are highly popular as well as very competitive. These upcoming Skoda models will also have their Volkswagen counterparts, but the entire development and manufacturing of these models will be taken care of by Skoda Auto.
However, in the time period of 2018 to early 2020, the Czech car maker will not be introducing any new budget car models in the Indian market. In the mean time, the Skoda Rapid sedan is likely to get a couple of refreshes. The Volkswagen models will also follow a similar strategy of only facelifts for the more affordable segments.
Meanwhile, Skoda Auto India will be offering its next launch in the form of the Skoda Karoq premium compact SUV. The Skoda Karoq will launch in India in 2019 and will be rivaling the likes of the Jeep Compass and the Hyundai Tucson.
On the other hand, Volkswagen is likely to update its Polo and Vento until their next generation avatars come. The Volkswagen Tiguan might also receive its mid-life refresh by 2020.