Skoda Auto (India), which clocked sales of 23858 vehicles during 2021, has set an ambitious target of growing three times to over 71,000 units in the current year and plans to further scale it up to 1,00,000 units by 2025, as per Brand Director, Zac Hollis. Interestingly the car maker had sold 10,387 vehicles in 2020.
The announcement comes at a time when India, like the rest of the world, is staring at the possibility of restrictions and lockdown arising from a possible third-wave of pandemic. "Nobody knows how it is going to pan out," said Hollis, adding that in case restrictions come in place then the company expectedly will have to adjust its aspirations accordingly. "We need to be flexible," he pointed out. With the start of the new year, Skoda Auto will be launching the new Kodiaq on January 10, the first of the 6 launches planned for 2022.
Skoda Auto has chalked out plans for building on new and existing avenues like its ‘Certified Pre-Owned’ brand, ‘Corporate Sales’ initiatives, increase penetration in rural markets and also continue focus on dealer manpower training to match the aggressive sales target for the year.
The carmaker plans ‘Certified Pre-Owned’ brand across all outlets in 2022. On the ‘Corporate Sales’ front, the OEM intends to increase penetration to around 30 percent in 2022.
Commenting on the semiconductor shortages, Hollis highlighted that even as VW Group and Skoda Auto have been prioritising the India operations, the challenges thrown by the chip shortage issue remains. The company's purchase team has been managing to get things going in the past and he remains hopeful of things getting better in future as well.
Further, the blueprint for the current year comes amidst the stepping down of Gurpratap Boparai as managing director of Skoda Auto Volkswagen India (SAVWIPL) in December after a two-year stint.
Building on the network expansion
Skoda Auto, which in the past faced severe criticism for its poor sales-services, has increased its presence by almost 50 percent to 175 touchpoints in 2021 and now looks at scaling it beyond 225- a growth of more than 25 percent.
With the increasing service footprint acting as an architect of growth, Skoda Auto also recently introduced compact workshop, which makes aftersales facilities accessible in all rural areas having a sales branch. With around 10 percent of Skoda India's total sales coming from rural areas, the company explained that compact workshops will help in catering to more than 60 rural markets in India in 2022.