Exclusive: Skoda Auto board visits India to define next phase of expansion

The CEO visited India along with board members for the second time in close to a year's time. CEO Zellmer told employees, India will get more responsibilities on development and production.

By Ketan Thakkar calendar 16 Oct 2023 Views icon9389 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Exclusive: Skoda Auto board visits India to define next phase of expansion

Underscoring the importance of India as a critical hub, the entire board of management of Skoda Auto visited India in the last fortnight to define the future game plan for the country.

Autocar Professional learns this is the second visit by the entire board in less than 12-14 months to deliberate the potentially bigger role for Skoda Auto Volkswagen India in VW Group's global scheme of things. The board members discussed internal combustion engine products beyond India 2.5 (sub-4 metre SUV) and localisation of EVs in the country.  

In a recent interview with Autocar, Zellmer had confirmed the next phase of investment in the country and had stated that Skoda Auto is looking for more ICE as well as EV products.

The board of management led by Global CEO Klaus Zellmer, head of sales and marketing Martin Jahn and key board members representing key functions of Finance, IT, legal, production, logistics, technical development, purchase amongst others were present for close to a week. 

They met key stakeholders to review the India business and define the next steps for the group

In his town hall address to employees Zellmer stated that India is very important to VW Group led by Skoda in India.

People in the know say Zellmer stated that Skoda Auto Volkswagen India has built a good momentum in the country and the brand needs to continue writing that success story.

He informed that Skoda has big plans for India and looks at adding more focus and responsibilities in the areas of research and development and production.

He assured employees that there is "more to come".

On the BEVs (Battery electric vehicles), he said the company is looking into an Enyaq EV that is already being tested and will hit the roads in 2024 in India. The CEO emphasised that Skoda is electrifying globally and will do so in India as well, but the tipping point will be later in the next decade.

He reiterated that The Group is also talking for "potential cooperation partners" in India to build the electric business including Mahindra – who is in talks with component arms for sourcing.

Till then, Skoda Auto will be looking at utilising India as a "production hub" and exploring more export possibilities. It sees India as a key gateway to the Asean markets -starting with Vietnam, it would add more markets in the future. 

An email sent to Skoda Auto Volkswagen India did not elicit any response till the time of publishing. 

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