Skoda’s first MQB A0 IN platform based SUV will be introduced next year before going on sale in early 2021
Skoda has taken the charge for Volkswagen Group to bring up the India 2.0 project with key emphasis on introducing products with high local content and expand its dealership network. The MQB A0 IN platform will spawn its first vehicle next year as an India-specific compact SUV based on the Kamiq will be unveiled in 2020 before going on sale in early 2021.
Volkswagen will follow suit and introduce the domestic-spec T-Cross and its launch is more likely scheduled for 2021 as well. The second products from both the brands will be the replacements of Rapid and Vento sedans, and it is an interesting move considering the sales slowdown in the C-segment for sedans in recent times.
The Rapid has been around since 2011 and it received a facelift in November 2016. Skoda launched the Monte Carlo edition in November 2017 as Edition X following court disputes for the Monte Carlo name and it was reintroduced earlier this year. The Rapid will continue to compete against Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Hyundai Verna when its next generation arrives.
Zac Hollis, Director, Sales and Marketing, Skoda India, told in a recent interview that the “notchback” based on the modular and flexible MQB A0 IN architecture will be up for grabs right “at the end of 2021”. What this means to the existing Rapid is its reign will continue into at least the next couple of years.
Ahead of the BSVI deadline, the engines will be upgraded as the current 1.6-litre petrol engine could make for a smaller 1.0-litre turbo unit while the 1.5-litre TDI diesel may cease to exist while retaining manual and seven-speed DSG transmission. The powertrain updates could be accompanied by minor cosmetic tweaks to keep the first generation Rapid relevant till 2021.
The Czech Republican auto major will also launch the Karoq SUV early next year and it will be positioned below the Kodiaq. The MQB A0 IN platform will be responsible for all the future products with high local content to keep their prices competitive and over the next two years, Skoda will more than double its dealerships by expanding to tier 2, tier, 3 and tier 4 cities.