Skoda Auto shift focus to Nepal till Indian market reattains pace

Tuesday 25 September 2012, 10:54 AM by

It seems that the car makers are now looking for some alternate markets, at the time when Indian auto market is erratically behaving. Following the trend, Skoda Auto, the completely owned division of Volkswagen Group, has gone to Nepal with its recently introduced entry-level sedan Rapid. The car maker has launched its India-made Rapid in Nepal in a view to meet its sales targets set for 2012. On the other hand, commencement of festive season is just around the corner and industry experts believe that this year's Diwali will mark record car sales; however some car makers have a doubt on it.

Skoda Auto shift focus to Nepal till Indian market reattains pace |
Skoda Auto shift focus to Nepal till Indian market reattains pace

Barshaman Pun, Nepal's Finance Minister, did the honours of pulling off the curtains from the model and displayed three different trims, namely Active, Ambition and Elegance. The model was introduced at the ongoing Nepal Auto Show at a price tag of around Rs. 18 lacs (after conversion to Indian currency). Active model is tagged with a price of Rs. 18.65 lacs, whereas the Ambition variant is priced at Rs. 21.02 lacs. The top-of the line model, Elegance, bears a price tag of Rs. 23.02 lacs, which is too expensive for Rapid.

Price of Rapid sedan mainly increased as it is shipped as a Completely Built Unit (CBU), which makes it attract high excise duty and other taxes. Till now, the company is planning to bank on the petrol model Rapid in Nepal, which witnessed a significant fall in India after the petrol price hike. The petrol model launched in the country features a 1.6 litre engine, which belts out as maximum power of 103 bhp with a peak torque of 153 Nm.

The demand for same segment petrol models like Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire and Toyota Etios also witnessed a rapid decline in their sales, whereas demand for their diesel models is on a steep rise. Recently, Hyundai and Nissan also introduced their C-segment models in Nepal and rejoiced with great support. Tata Motors also showcased its iconic hatchback Nano at the Nepal auto show, and is likely to launch the model in the country.

Industry experts believe that focus over Nepal market is a good move as the Indian auto industry is not showing positive results as of now. With this move of Skoda, it is anticipated that the company will make over the losses incurred because of increased petrol prices, which reduced the demand for Rapid petrol in India.

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