Skoda Kushaq and Slavia, Skoda India is optimistic and with good reason. Few automakers can boast they still have the public’s trust after their past two introductions, the Kushaq small SUV and the Slavia sedan, both of which were well received by Indian consumers. The recently released Kushaq Monte Carlo edition, about which you can read more here, has been successful in boosting employee morale. We recently spoke with Zac Hollis, Director of Sales and Marketing at Skoda India, and learned about the different ways that Skoda is planning for the future, as well as the strategies that are currently working for them and the needs of Indian consumers. Continue reading to learn more!
India was Skoda’s second-largest market after Germany if you take its sales in March into account. The Slavia, which has sold between 2500 and 3000 vehicles every month since its inception, undoubtedly contributed to this. With 2500–3000 sales per month, Kushaq is likewise highly popular. With the Slavia surpassing the 3,000-unit threshold and the Kushaq performing even better, Skoda claims there is scope for these figures to increase. In fact, even Skoda has been surprised by the popularity of the 1.5-liter engine option in Slavia. Skoda had anticipated having a 15% percent of all Slavia volumes but now really has a 30% share, which is why it has a 30% share.
While locally produced cars are the ones driving sales, expensive options also contribute fairly. In January 2022, Skoda introduced the redesigned Kodiaq in India, with an initial production target of 100 vehicles per month. Each and every one of those units has already found a buyer. They claim that further items have already been requisitioned from the international headquarters. With 180 and 200 units sold last month, Octavia and Superb each enjoy a market share of more than 30% in their respective segments.
Skoda “considering” a voluntary crash test of its vehicles in the Global NCAP is another excellent sign of how the Indian consumer has shifted. Given that Tata and Mahindra have successfully leveraged their voluntary crash test ratings for marketing purposes, this is an interesting strategy. With their automobiles, Skoda could be able to accomplish the same. However, Skoda is now unwilling to confirm any of these theories, so they remain firmly in the “maybe” category.
Skoda has been impacted by chip scarcity, much like the majority of automakers worldwide, and variants are planned to avoid it, at least temporarily. For instance, a new Active model without a radio would be available starting at 9.99 lakh. The head unit will only be offered as a separate option for $35,000 even though the car will already have speakers and wire harnesses.
According to Skoda, the 500–600 units of this specific model that will be constructed have already been almost completely selling out. one more variation the electronic folding ORVM mirrors have been removed from the Ambition classic and replaced with standard push-button air conditioning. The feature is now an optional extra that costs 20,000. Even the higher models of the Kushaq were sold in some batches without the electrically folding ORVMs, and these buyers can now have their dealer retrofit this function for them. In the modern era, these kinds of variant treatments are not unusual. Given that BMW was compelled to sell vehicles without touchscreens, Skoda’s decisions seem reasonable.
Skoda currently has 160 locations around the nation, but the business anticipates expanding to 180–190 locations by the end of the year. There will also be two automobile shows in smaller dealer layouts. Selling 30–40 cars a month, according to Skoda, is a compelling business argument in support of this claim.
According to Skoda, dealerships should not open before the service network is in place. 40 small workshops that can complete 70% of the task are included in the service first idea. Alongside them, 30 smaller workshops have already begun, and 40 more will soon do the same. There are only two bays in each of these smaller workshops.
Dreams of RS
Customers are requesting an RS version of the Slavia, according to Skoda. Skoda said they are willing to do that and that ideally, they would add a little more power. Additionally, it would make it easier to distinguish between the stronger Slavia varieties. Having stated that, increasing power extraction will be a costly operation, especially if homologation is also needed. The Octavia RS might, nevertheless, have a future in India. According to Zac Hollis, Skoda is thinking of exporting the most recent Octavia RS to India as a fully-built vehicle. Cross your fingers!
Where is the revolution happening?
Skoda claims that while they haven’t officially disclosed a strategy for electric vehicles, they are “not behind the curve” in terms of alternative energy plans. Given that Skoda already offers the Enyaq iV, which is built on the MEB electric-only platform used by the Volkswagen family, it would be true on a worldwide scale. Is this a portent of a launch in India? It would also not be out of the question that an Indianized MEB platform may be in the works in the future, even though Skoda has not confirmed it, given that VW India has previously introduced an Indianized edition of the MQB platform (MQB A0-IN).
The business case is destroyed because Skoda is fully ruling out CNG because a Slavia CNG would cost between $12 and $13 lakh, while any competitor that model would have cost between $8 and $9 lakh. Skoda is instead considering using their Greenline technology to meet CAFE standards. This would include taking a variety of steps, such as introducing new models with low rolling resistance tires, weight reduction techniques, and start-stop systems, among other modifications, which improve the performance of the current engines in the lineup.
The Slavia sedan and the Kushaq SUV have both seen price increases of up to Rs 60,000 from Skoda. The Slavia has experienced a second price increase since its launch in February 2022, while the Kushaq has experienced a third.
While price increases for the Kushaq SUV range from Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000, those for the Slavia sedan range from Rs 1,000 to Rs 40,000.
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Price update for the Skoda Slavia: November 2022
The Skoda Slavia’s prices increased for the first time in June of this year, by as much as Rs 60,000. According to the variant, the carmaker has now increased the prices by another Rs 40,000.
The 1.0 TSI Style MT of the Slavia Ambition receives a price increase of Rs 31,000, which is followed by the 4.0 TSI Ambition AT, which sees a price increase of Rs 40,000. Prices for the Active 1.0 TSI MT and Ambition 1.0 TSI MT models have been raised by Rs 30,000.
The pricing of the 1.5 TSI MT and 1.0 TSI MT Skoda Slavia Style has raised by Rs 21,000 apiece. On the other hand, the cost of the Style 1.0 TSI has gone up by 11,000 rupees. The Style 1.0 TSI AT has a slight price increase of Rs 1,000.
Updated price for the Skoda Kushaq: November 2022
Skoda has raised the price of several Kushaq SUV versions, which had already seen a price increase of up to Rs 70,000 in May of this year. The Kushaq now has a starting price of Rs. 11.59 lakh and a maximum price of Rs. 19.69 lakh for the top-of-the-line 1.5 TSI AT Monte Carlo model.