Skoda unveils made-in-India Kushaq SUV

Skoda Auto Volkswagen India on Thursday unveiled the Kushaq SUV, its first made-in-India product under the company’s 2.0 project which was announced in 2018.

After two-and-a-half years of dedicated efforts for integration of three companies of the Volkswagen Group and new product development initiatives, the company is now geared up to be a mainstream player in the India automobile market, top executives said.

Under the lead responsibility of Skoda Auto, Volkswagen Group is investing €1 billion to be a serious player in the Indian market with targets to acquire 5% market share by 2025, they added.

“We are doing differently what had done before. We are going ahead with a different approach,” said Gurpratap Boparai, MD, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd., who helms the integrated organisation.

“The unveiling of the Kushaq marks the beginning of a new era for Skoda Auto and Volkswagen Group in India,” he added. Kushaq, derived from a Sanskrit word, is the first production car in the company’s new chapter.

In the next 12 months, the firm plans to unveil four new products (two SUVs and two sedans) under the Skoda and Volkswagen brands and all the vehicles with distinct features to be produced at Chakan near Pune will appeal to different sets of customers.

Skoda has also embarked on a sales and services network expansion and targets to have 200 outlets by 2025 from 100 now.

A new management team has been put in place to drive aggressively growth. From a being a fringe player all these years, Skoda is seeking to be serious one eyeing large volumes in this important market.

“We are taking the brand to the mainstream. We will continue to position as a value luxury brand and eye the mass market,” said Zac Hollis, Director Sales, Services & Marketing, Skoda Auto India.

The Chakan facility has capacity to produce 1,80,000 units annually and will run at full capacity by the first quarter of next year after which the company will expand capacity to achieve its growth targets, Mr. Boparai said.

In the new form, Skoda and Volkswagen brands will share the common manufacturing facility and the vehicle manufacturing platform to cater to the Indian market in a more aggressive manner.

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