Skoda Rapid to pull the masses in India, says Winfried Vahland

Wednesday 19 October 2011, 10:34 AM by

Rapid compact sedan from Skoda, scheduled for launch in December, has been foreseen by the company as a major mass puller in the coming time. Speaking at a recent interview regarding the introduction of the car, Mr. Winfried Vahland, Global Chairman of Skoda said that the company is highly reliable on the upcoming car. An aplomb Vahland confirmed that the company expects Rapid to shoot up its overall sales figures for India, subsequently expanding its market share in the country.

Speaking about the company's performance and position over the last ten years, Vahland said that no doubt Volkswagen is a major brand, but Skoda too has not left any stone unturned, with satisfactory results in the Indian auto market. Both Laura and the newly launched Yeti, which has been placed in the SUV segment, have been performing well till date. However, Rapid is believed to gain much more exposure in the market, with unprecedented success and exorbitant sales volumes expected to come its way.

Skoda Rapid to pull the masses in India, says Winfried Vahland |
Skoda Rapid

Skoda was inclined towards producing a number of larger sedans prior to its entry into the small car segment. It is strongly believed that locking horns with Volkswagen was not a part of the strategy, as both brands have gained equal popularity in the Indian market. It is important to note that Skoda is expecting India to emerge as a major automobile player along with Russia and China in the future.

“We have not yet fully exploited the potential in India. We are an international brand. We will have to differentiate ourselves from the local brands. I believe there are segments in the Indian market that Skoda will not enter. Nevertheless, we have to recognise the compact segment here. The biggest segment is the compact segment (hatchback and sedan) with over 800,000 units sold. And then there is the small-car segment that is about the same size. We have competence and we have already shown it in the higher segment. Rapid will be in the compact sedan segment. We are confident that it will create good position for us in the market because of the value for money proposition it will offer,” Winfried was quoted as saying.

On the debut of the Skoda Rapid, Thomas Kuehl, Board Member-Sales & Marketing, Skoda Auto India said, “We are launching the next big leap for Skoda this year. It is our new C Segment car, and we thought it would be a good idea to exclusively debut it on NDTV Car and Bike Show. This in a way is our birthday gift for the great show. It will be the all new Skoda Rapid. It is the most accessible limousine in the Skoda world now. We are starting with the compact limousine first. So the first market for Skoda worldwide is India to launch the first compact limousine.”

Skoda Rapid, with a 1.6-litre engine, is expected to be offered in both diesel and petrol variants. Another aspect that Rapid would cash on is its unmatched suspensions, which would definitely place the sedan against the likes of Maruti SX4 and Volkswagen Vento.

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