Skoda to launch new products to keep customers engaged amid the pandemic

Ayushi Kar Mumbai | Updated on June 11, 2021

Launches fourth generation Octavia;will bring out SUV Kushaq next month

Skoda Auto plans to keep launching new products to keep the customers engaged as lockdown restrictions get lifted across the country.

Zac Hollis, Brand Director of Skoda Auto told BusinessLine that the carmaker will be launching the SUV Kushaq next month, which is the first car under the India 2.0 localisation strategy. Skoda aims to sell over 100,000 models of the SUV Kushaq in two years.

Also read: Skoda launches new Octavia at ₹25.99 lakh

On Thursday, Skoda unveiled a new executive sedan, the fourth generation Octavia. Available at an ex-showroom price of ₹25.99 lakhs, the vehicle features the ‘shift by wire’ technology that complements the seven-speed DSG gearbox. This technology is a first for the Czech marque in India.

The new executive sedan will be available in Style and Laurin & Klement variants and is equipped with a host of advanced safety features. It is equipped with the 2.0 TSI engine and delivers 190 PS of power, 320 Nm of torque and a fuel efficiency of 15.81 km/l.

Regarding the new launch, Hollis, said, “when introduced twenty years ago, Octavia changed the dynamics of the executive sedan segment-which continues to offer tremendous growth potential for discerning buyers with a penchant for luxury. Over the past twenty years, we have sold one lakh Octavias. Having retained all of its original characteristics of design, safety, technology, performance, space, and comfort- the new Octavia is a compelling combination that will continue to drive Skoda’s success in the Indian market”

Blending luxury and practicality

Hollis hopes that sales for this new generation executive sedan that toes the line between luxury and practicality will benefit from buyers looking to downsize their aspirations for high-end German cars into Octavia as a result of Covid-19. Hollis also continues to emphasise the importance physical interactions between dealers and customers still hold for the brand. “As soon as we get customers driving those cars, and they get a feel of the car, I am very confident that Octavia is going to do very well”. Keeping the devastating Covid situation in India in mind, Skoda delayed the launch of Octavia by six weeks. Now, with the second wave winding down and with the vaccination drive underway, Skoda is confident of opening back up. After the lockdowns due to the second wave, Skoda has just started opening dealerships today, with some of the dealerships in the south opening next week, and all of the dealerships opening by the end of the month.

For Hollis, the selling proposition of Octavia in a crowded executive sedan segment is that this vehicle offers amenities that surpass what is offered by entry-level cars in the luxury segment.

Skoda with its India 2.0 strategy is aiming for the rural market as well as tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Skoda aims to expand their dealer network from 105 touchpoints at present to 150 dealerships at the end of the year to finally, 200 dealerships at the end of three years. Improving the dealership network in rural India, tier 2 and tier 3 cities, will be a key strategy to drive growth. “Our executive sedan Octavia and SUV Kushaq will be the perfect product to meet rural demand,” Hollis said

Published on June 11, 2021

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