Skoda Karoq will be launched in the first half of next year while the long-awaited mid-size SUV will arrive only in mid-2021
Skoda took up the charge for the India 2.0 project as the brand has embarked on a new strategy by appealing to customers with high local content at a competitive price range. This will be achieved through heavily localised MQB A0 IN platform and the first product will be a mid-size SUV.
Skoda Auto India’s Director – Sales, Service & Marketing, Zac Hollis, has been openly answering questions on Twitter and when asked about the mid-size SUV’s market debut, he told that it would arrive by the middle of 2021. It was initially expected to arrive in the second half of next year with a public premiere at the 2020 Auto Expo.
Volkswagen Group has invested more than one billion euros in India for localisation of its products and the arrival of the mid-size SUV from Skoda rivalling Creta, Hector, Kia Seltos and Tata Harrier could coincide with the launch of Volkswagen’s India-spec T-Cross that will also be featured in the same segment.
It is no secret that both will have several commonalities to keep the production costs in check. Skoda has been riding successfully on the back of new SUV and crossover launches in recent years as the Kodiaq, Karoq and Kamiq have been well-received globally.
The Czech Republican automaker’s global sales in July 2019 stood at more than 100,000 units – highest for the company in that particular month. And Hollis expects India to play a major role in gaining big volumes in the coming years. He says the MQB IN A0 architecture is flexible enough to adopt different body styles.
Thus giving Skoda and Volkswagen much more suppleness to enter new volume segments. With premium brand image, Skoda could capitalise on the customers’ growing affinity towards buying upmarket vehicles costing more than Rs. 10 lakh. Hollis also revealed that the Karoq D-segment SUV rivalling Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson and Honda CR-V will be launched in the first half of 2020.
The Kamiq will more likely be tailor-made for India with dimensional and slight exterior changes while the replacements for Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento appear to be in the pipeline as well.