Skoda Auto Volkswagen is considering developing an Indian market specific sub-4m compact SUV to have its share of the bigger pie
With a super-high affinity for the SUVs in the Indian market, we quite literally have them raining at a fast pace. Almost every month, a new SUV is launched in the Indian market. Recently, Skoda has launched the Kushaq, and the brand is also working on an India-specific sub-compact SUV. This new project is under development to rival the likes of other sub-4m compact SUVs that are on sale in the country.
The new sub-compact SUV will go on sale with just the Skoda badge, and a VW-badged iteration is likely to be off the cards. As per media reports, the project evaluation is in the final stage, and the brand would soon start working on it. This comes as a part of Skoda’s project 2.5, through which it plans to have an increased market share.
The proposed sub-4m compact SUV would be designed in Europe. However, the Indian R&D team will have constant intervention in the process to achieve over 95 per cent localization in the upcoming SUV. With the heavy localization and being India-specific, Skoda is planning to sell over 50,000 of these annually in the Indian market alone.
While Skoda has Kushaq to take on the likes of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, the upcoming sub-compact SUV will fit in the bigger picture. It will compete in the most crowded segment in the Indian automotive space, fighting over 10 rivals. Well, the list includes – Tata Nexon, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Mahindra XUV300, Nissan Magnite, Renault Kiger and more.
The sub-4m compact-SUV segment witnesses sales of over 50,000 units every month. Hence, with the new sub-compact SUV, Skoda may easily achieve its set target of gaining 5 per cent market share by 2025, which currently stands below 1.5 per cent.
The brand’s recent introduction in the Indian market is Kushaq. It retails at a starting price of Rs. 10.50 lakh (ex-showroom), which goes up to Rs. 17.60 lakh (ex-showroom). Powered by TSI range of engines, one can choose between two options – 1.0L 3-cylinder and 1.5L 4-cylinder. The gearbox options include a 6-speed MT, 6-speed AT, and 7-speed DCT.