Skoda to drive Volkswagen’s comeback in India

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 22 Jun 2018

Skoda is set to play a larger role in the Volkswagen Group’s future in India. As per a formal announcement made today, in line with the ‘India 2.0’ project, the Volkswagen Group’s position in India is to be strengthened for the long term.

“Volkswagen Group has tasked us with this responsibility, thereby highlighting the level of trust that Volkswagen Group’s management places in the expertise of the Skoda team,” said Skoda CEO, Bernhard Maier, after the Board of Management and Supervisory Board had given the project the go-ahead.

Around a year and a half ago, Skoda was tasked with developing a sustainable model campaign for the Skoda and Volkswagen brands in the Indian volume segments. All models designed and produced locally in India in the future will be based on Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, which already fulfils the stricter legal requirements for India that come into force in 2020.

First Skoda model on MQB-A0-IN platform by early 2020
With the India 2.0 project, Skoda is also taking over responsibility for the sub-compact MQB A0 platform, initially with a focus on India (MQB-A0-IN).

Preparations for the India-based development and production of the new, technologically pioneering volume models for the Skoda and Volkswagen brands are already in full swing. The introduction of the first Skoda model based on the A0-IN platform is scheduled for 2020.

“We are firmly convinced that – after one-and-a-half years of intensive work – together with Volkswagen we now have a suitable approach to bring the right vehicles into the Indian market at the right time. We will present the first model built on the new MQB-A0-IN platform as early as 2020,” said Skoda Auto CEO, Bernhard Maier, adding, “I am confident that we can make the ‘India 2.0’ project a success.” 

The project will be headed by the managing director of Skoda Auto India, Gurpratap Boparai, who has extensive leadership experience in the Indian car market.

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 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 per cent 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.