Neha Kaushik

New Delhi, June 15

AFTER achieving sales of 20,000 units in three-and-a-half years, Skoda Auto India has drawn up aggressive plans for the Indian market, which include not only rolling out over four new products in the next 12 months, but also establishing India as an export hub for the region.

"We are targeting to be present in nearly all segments of the Indian car market in three years. This would include an offering in the premium compact car segment," Mr Imran Hassen, Managing Director of Skoda Auto India, said, adding that the company was studying options from Skoda's global portfolio.

Skoda at present sells 10 premium car models in India, which include the top end Skoda L&K, Skoda Superb and the SkodaRS.

For the current year, Skoda has plans to roll out variants on the D5 platform as well as the Combi (station wagon variant).

This would be followed by an Octavia on the bigger A5 platform in January and the Fabia in the latter half of 2006.

"Our sales have grown considerably over the past few years. We are further targeting to grow our sales by over 30 per cent this year," Mr Hassen said.

Meanwhile, the company plans to embark on an export programme this year.

"We will be dispatching our first batch of exports by June-end to the neighbouring countries," Mr Hassen said, adding that he expected exports to gain significant volumes post-2006.

The company plans to begin exports to markets in South-East Asia as well.

To meet demand from both the domestic and export markets, Skoda is in the process of doubling capacity to 30,000 units at its Aurangabad facility.

It expects to complete this expansion programme by end-November.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 16, 2005)
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