Skoda Auto keeps a close eye on the Indian automobile market30. May 2019
With the so-called INDIA 2.0 project, the Volkswagen subsidiary Skoda is attempting to make a fresh start on the subcontinent, this time with vehicles individually tailored to the Indian market. Cooperation with Suzuki and Tata Motors had already failed even before the development or introduction of new vehicles. For Skoda Auto, the new project is of enormous strategic importance, as a completely new model family is planned for the region. Skoda will use a modified version (A0-IN) of the Volkswagen MQB platform A0, as it has all the necessary safety and technology standards for India. The Indian government has announced that it will introduce stricter guidelines for vehicles in 2020, the year in which the first Skoda model based on the A0-IN platform will be launched.
Skoda Auto’s HR manager, Bohdan Wojnar, said in an interview with Deutsche Welle (DW) that this time customer preferences will have a much greater impact on vehicle design and development. “Significantly more work will now be done locally directly in India, giving Skoda Auto more freedom and autonomy but also more responsibility,” says Wojnar. Initially, Skoda and Volkswagen vehicles will be developed and produced specifically for the Indian market, and later exported to other Southeast Asian countries or even the Middle East or Africa.
The INDIA 2.0 project led by Skoda is to become an example of optimised and cost-effective product development and, if successful, will be transferred to other emerging markets. The Indian economy is on the upswing and is producing a wealthy middle class. Therefore, despite a mass of budget cars below an average price of 4480 euros, experts expect a growing market for mid-range vehicles. Currently, more than 3 million cars are sold annually in India and India is expected to become the third most important car market after China and the US. In 2017, Skoda sold around 17,000 Rapid, Oktavia, Superb and Kodiaq vehicles in India. The Rapid is produced in Pune, where a new technology center was recently opened, and the remaining models in the plant in Aurangabad. You too can benefit from the growth in India. The export of products there, in particular cars and car parts, in many cases requires obligatory India certification according to the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS). We would be happy to advise you comprehensively on AIS certification for India.