Czech automaker ŠKODA is looking for accelerated growth in the Indian market, which has become one of its top three global markets in 2022, with plans to bring in electric vehicles and will consider local production in the future, a senior company official said on Friday.
ŠKODA AUTO India, which sold 57,721 units in 2022, an over two-fold increase from 23,858 units in 2021, is looking at a double-digit growth in India this year.
The company plans to bring the Enyaq iV, ŠKODA’s first electric SUV, in the next fiscal as a completely built unit, ŠKODA AUTO India Brand Director Petr Šolc told reporters in a virtual interaction.
He, however, did not elaborate on the exact time saying it was about meeting Indian regulations and the tests are ongoing.
For 2023, Šolc said the company will build a path towards accelerating growth with more product actions, while ensuring that its INDIA 2.0 products such as the SUV Kushaq and sedan Slavia are well established besides growing network reach.
The Kushaq, launched in July 2021, and the Slavia launched in March 2022, have been the key drivers of the company’s growth. These have been developed in India for the world as part of the INDIA 2.0 project of the Volkswagen group, of which the company is a part.
“India is among the top three markets for ŠKODA AUTO globally and it is the biggest market for the company outside Europe,” he said, adding the path forward would be to build on the success of last year.
The other two top markets for the company globally are Germany and Czech Republic.
On future product strategy he said ŠKODA AUTO India will deepen its strategic focus on widening the portfolio with both internal combustion engine vehicles and EVs.
“But definitely for us now, the ultimate focus is on the EV cars, to bring as quickly as possible with potential extension and localisation of EV (in India),” Šolc said when asked about the company’s strategy for clean technology vehicles.
As far as EVs are concerned, he said the company will follow a step-by-step approach, importing the Enyaq iV as a completely built unit.
If the market evolves and there is more customer acceptance in the future then there will be localisation to the highest level possible in order to make the EVs affordable for Indian customers, he said.
Asked when the company would achieve its target of having 5 per cent market share in India, Šolc did not share an exact timeline but said “we are really going step by step. So therefore for us, it’s a double digit growth for this year… Definitely the target is to grow quicker than the total market to gain the market share in the future.