Skoda Auto India backs Volkswagen Group's CNG push

by Nilesh Wadhwa 30 Sep 2019


Zac Hollis, Director – Sales, Service and Marketing, Skoda Auto India: "We are looking at CNG as well for the India market. We are looking at our current-generation cars as well as India 2.0 cars."

Skoda Auto India today launched a new variant for the Kodiaq called the Scout, at Rs 33.99 lakh. The new car is part of the company's plans to launch five new offerings by 2021 in the Indian market.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Kodiaq Scout launch, Zac Hollis, Director – Sales, Service and Marketing, Skoda Auto India, revealed that the Czech carmaker plans to launch four new cars in the country, before an SUV and a sedan under India 2.0 come in 2021.

Responding to the company's plan to have over 200 touchpoints in the country by 2025 from the existing 65, Hollis said, "It is quite important that we keep the brand in the minds of consumers and give a clear business case for our dealers, before the India 2.0 project cars start coming in 2021. Therefore, we are launching more cars before that."

Hollis said the company will clearly focus on ensuring that the Skoda brand has a strong widespread presence in India, not just in terms of showrooms but also service availability. In fact, Hollis said that at present the brand has a strong presence in urban India; going forward, the focus would be to improve presence in Tier 3 and 4 cities, as the company didn't have a strong business case with its "current model range".

"As we expand to India 2.0, that's when the sales will increase. Then, we will have a strong business case for those dealers. Sometimes small showrooms, sometimes 3S dealers, it all depends on the volume potential of the city. We have done a complete city-by-city study on where the volume potentials will be," added Hollis.

Talking about the BS VI era and the potential of alternate fuels, Hollis said, "We are looking at CNG as well for the India market. We are looking at our current-generation cars as well as the India 2.0 cars. If we can do it with our current generation of cars, we will do it. If not, we will look at India 2.0 cars. CNG certainly has a role to play. Many of our competitors already have CNG in India as well. We are looking at it together with Volkswagen; we can't just take a CNG product from Europe and bring it here, because CNG products don't usually exist there. If you want to go to mass CNG, you can only do it here with Indian suppliers. We have to make sure the quality is right for our customers."

Also read: Volkswagen India exploring CNG vehicle market "with great interest"