Skoda commits to investing 5.6 billion euros in electric mobility and 700 million euros in digitalization as part of its global makeover
Volkwagen Group’s Czech brand Skoda is busy charting its future vision along the lines of current and future business trends.
Details of the multi-billion dollar global plan was revealed by Skoda CEO KLauss Zellmer to a global audience. During the presentation Zellmer also unveiled Skoda's Vision 7S concept, a seven-seater crossover along with a commitment to invest 5.6 billion euros in electric mobility and 700 million euros in digitalization respectively over the next five years. These massive investments comes as a significant part of accelerating the company’s e-campaign. Skoda has reiterated its commitment for all-electric vehicles to comprise more than 70 percent battery-electric of its sales total by 2030.
The Vision 7S unveiled is built on the Volkswagen Group’s bespoke electric MEB platform that underpins the Czech brand’s Enyaq IV full-electric SUV, Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV, and VW brand’s ID4 SUV.
The other two battery-electric models in the new Skoda family will be a small car and a new compact crossover. Skoda CEO Zellmer said the company plans to unveil a new-generation Superb mid-size car and Kodiaq midsize SUV next year,
Powered by an 89-kilowatt-hour battery that is one of the largest in the MEB model – which the firm says will give it a range of 600 km and is capable of charging at speeds of up to 200kW too.
Currently, the Skoda-VW group has a presence in India through its brands, including Volkswagen, SKODA, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley in the four-wheeler segment.
The VW group had in 2018 announced an investment of 1 billion euros between 2019 and 2021 as part of its strategy to enhance its presence in the country under its 'India 2.0' project. It had set a target of capturing 5 percent of the Indian passenger vehicles market by 2025
Piyush Arora, Managing Director, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India speaking earlier about the India-bound Skoda Enyak that has already sold 70,000 units globally had said: "The Enyak will join Skoda Volkswagen family of e-cars including the Audi e-Tron and Porsche Taycan."
“The expectation was not very high that India would move, but the country began to show initial signs that it is moving at a much faster pace” he had said
The all-electric Porsche Taycan has a starting price of Rs 1.5 crore, while the Audi e-tron price ranges from Rs 99.99 lakh to Rs 1.18 crore.
“The tipping point (from when only electric cars will be developed by carmakers) is still a few years away We recognize that there is demand in India for electric vehicles, so we have already launched Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-Tron which are doing extremely well in the Indian market," Arora had said.
In terms of electro-mobility, he said, "We have followed a top-down approach with our luxury brands, already launching products into the market. Both Audi and Porsche have very successful electric vehicles in the Indian market."
Globally, Arora said electrification is happening at different levels with Europe already committed to selling all new zero-emission vehicles by 2035, while China is moving at a very fast
Sales of passenger vehicles in the Indian market stood at 30,69,499 units in 2021-22, up from 27,11,457 units in 2020-21, as per SIAM data.
On the overall road ahead, Arora said, "Our first focus is to consolidate 'India 2.0', making it sustainably profitable, and capturing the desired market share that we have set for...This would be the focus for another year going forward."
However, he added, "We have begun evaluating the overall opportunities for both ICE and BEV (battery electric vehicles) as a future growth engine for us. And once we prioritize, given that resources are always limited, you cannot develop or localize all of your products at the same time. The next round of investment will be based on the products we prioritize."
Skoda’s Vision 7s concept which is part of its global makeover for the first time has showcased a built-in reverse-facing baby seat with a camera feed to the main infotainment screen.
The company also showcased its new logo as part of its 'robust' new design language that the brand will be rolling out across all its new vehicles in the coming years.
Referring to India, Arora says that the Indian electric components supplier ecosystem is developing and it will take some time to be completed, "You must also concentrate on the ICE market, and your resources are ultimately limited".
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