New Delhi: Skoda Auto India is planning to roll out new car models this year and next year. New launches this year include Skoda variants on the D5 platform as well as the Skoda Combi (station wagon variant). Next year the company plans to launch a new Skoda Octavia manufactured on the bigger A5 platform and the Fabia.
According to Imran Hassen, managing Director of Skoda Auto India, " We are planning to introduce a model in the premium compact car segment and are evaluating options from Skoda's global portfolio."
The Skoda Fabia was due to be launched last year but was delayed due to production constraints and the company launched only the Superb in 2004.
The Skoda Octavia Combi to be launched this year is positioned as a premium station wagon. Analysts expect the car to carve out a new segment for itself, as it is larger than the Indigo Marina and Corsa Swing, the other station wagons in the market. Combi provides huge cargo capacity of 1500l and the company plans to launch it in petrol and diesel models.
The Skoda Combi is expected to be priced between Rs13 lakh to Rs16 lakh.
Skoda Auto has a presence in the premium car market in India with models like Skoda L&K, Skoda Superb and SkodaRS, ultimately plans to have an offering in every passenger car segment in India.
According to Hassen Skoda Auti India is targeting a 30 per cent increase in sales this year. The company is planning to turn its India operations into an export hub and will soon begin exporting to markets in South-East Asia and Europe. To achieve this, Skoda is doubling capacity to 30,000 units at its Aurangabad facility. The company sold 4,656 cars in 2003 and 7,202 units in 2004,.
Škoda Auto also received the ''automotive technology of the year 2005'' award for advanced five-valve technology used on Škoda Octavia RS petrol turbocharged engines and on the Škoda Superb 1.8T model. Its Škoda Superb saloon, launched last year, won the ''car of the year 2005 award'' by auto magazine Overdrive. The magazine rated the Škoda Superb as the ''best car available to the Indians at present.''
The Volkswagen owned Škoda Auto set up operations in India in 2000 when the Skoda Octavia was showcased at the "Auto Expo 2000" Motor show in New Delhi.