Skoda Auto Volkswagen India group has been busy with its India 2.0 business strategy
After a considerable delay, Skoda Auto India has finally decided to launch three new BS6 products on May 26: Karoq, Superb facelift and Rapid 1.0 TSI. The Czech-origin brand under Volkswagen Group had showcased these products at Auto Expo 2020, held in early-February. However, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis hit the Indian automotive industry within a few weeks from then and caused major setbacks in the sector.
In April, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India had announced a support initiative for its struggling dealerships. As automotive showrooms were closed for almost two months, dealer partners were facing immense losses. In fact, certain dealerships were even on the verge of going out of business permanently. For its +80 outlets across India, the company crafted a support package worth roughly Rs 60 crore to cover expenditures such as salaries and rent.
Prior to the lockdown, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India has been busy with its India 2.0 business strategy. Under this, the automaker plans to launch a range of India-focused crossovers in respective Volkswagen and Skoda formats. Some of them were showcased in concept or production-ready formats at the biennial auto show. For the BS6 era, the entire group of brands is following a petrol-only portfolio.
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In global markets, the Skoda Karoq (expected starting price: Rs 21 lakh) fits between the Kamiq and Kodiaq. It is powered by a 1.5-litre turbo petrol motor packing 148bhp and 250Nm of torque while coupled to a 7-speed DCT. To an extent, it will serve as a successor to the capable Skoda Yeti 4×4 that was available only in a diesel-manual format albeit FWD.
The 2020 Skoda Superb (expected starting price: Rs 28 lakh) mid-size sedan receives minor cosmetic enhancements and a 2.0-litre turbo petrol motor good for 187bhp and 320Nm. Also mated to a 7-speed DCT, the mid-size premium sedan comes in two variants: L&K (Laurin & Klement) and Sportline.
As the names suggest, the former would be an elegant buy while the latter gets some sporty styling bits. The Superb is still a logical choice over an entry-level Audi product. Meanwhile, Audi India’s official website lists only three products at present.
As a starter product in the brand’s Indian portfolio, the Skoda Rapid (expected starting price: Rs 9 lakh) shares its internals with the 2020MY BS6 Volkswagen Vento. The new 1.0-litre turbo petrol motor churns out 108bhp and 175Nm of torque. Instead of a DCT, it will get a 6-speed manual as standard while a 6-speed torque-converter automatic transmission is offered in higher variants.