Skoda has announced that Pavel Richter will be assuming the role of Production Technical Director of the Skoda-led India 2.0 project of the Volkswagen Group on November 1, 2018. Forty-six-year-old Richter will be responsible for the production of all the models at the plant in Pune.
The personnel restructuring is part of the ‘India 2.0’ project. The company says re-organising the responsibilities at the management level is an important step in implementing the ‘India 2.0’ project.
Commenting on Richter’s appointment, Dr Andreas Lauermann, managing director and president of Volkswagen India, said: “I am delighted to welcome Pavel Richter to our team in Pune. With his experience, he will play a crucial role in achieving our common goal of further strengthening the Volkswagen Group’s position in the strategically important Indian market.”
Gurpratap Boparai, managing director of Skoda Auto India and head of the ‘India 2.0’ project, said: “Pavel Richter has known the company for many years and has considerable expertise in the international automotive industry. With his capabilities, he will play a key role in making the ‘India 2.0’ project successful.”
Pavel Richter has been working for Škoda Auto since 2000, and has performed various managerial roles in the Czech Republic as well as other international markets. In 2011, he became head of the Skoda plant in Kvasiny, Czech Republic. From 2014, Richter was responsible for the production of the Octavia, Rapid and Karoq models at the company’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav.
Skoda to drive VW's comeback in India
As part of ‘India 2.0’, Skoda will be responsible for the Volkswagen Group’s planned model campaign on the Indian market, for which one billion euros will be invested between 2019 and 2021. Skoda will manufacture the new products locally based on the subcompact platform MQB A0, initially focusing on India (MQB-A0-IN).
The fundamental advantages of the MQB are lowered costs and reduced production times through standardising components, dimensions and production processes. Furthermore, the MQB increases flexibility when developing new vehicles. Most of the technical development will take place in India.
The second step will involve the company investigating the possibility of exporting the vehicles manufactured in India. Skoda and Volkswagen plan to develop various models on this platform. The model campaign will be launched in 2020 with an SUV.
The technical development of the new products will take place primarily in India. In this context, the car manufacturer plans to gradually create new jobs locally. The company is targeting a localisation level of over 90 percent in an effort to boost the cost effectiveness of its vehicles, which have traditionally been positioned at a premium in the Indian market.
Skoda Auto India currently has four model series: the Rapid, Octavia, Superb and Kodiaq. The Octavia, Superb and Kodiaq are manufactured in Aurangabad alongside various models from the Group brands, Audi and Volkswagen. The Rapid is produced at the Pune plant, where the Volkswagen Polo, Vento and Ameo, and engines are also manufactured.
The continued internationalisation of Skoda Auto is one of the cornerstones of its 2025 Strategy. In 2017, Skoda sales in India rose by more than 30 percent compared to the previous year. Last year, a total of 17,100 Skoda cars (+31.4%; 2016: 13,000 units) were delivered to customers in India.
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