Updated: Jul 24, 2020
Skoda Auto India director, sales, service and marketing, Zac Hollis expressed the company’s interest in locally assembling the Karoq for the Indian markets, in a recent digital interaction with one of industry’s leading automotive publications. “I would certainly like to bring in local assembly of this car,” told Zac to Autocar India. However, he quoted that the decision would depend on a number of factors and may be a long way.
The recently launched Skoda Karoq in India was introduced at a price of Rs. 24.99 lakh (ex-showroom, India) and was brought in as a full import for the initial sales phase. Moving forward, the company plans to launch assembly operations for the Karoq in India if sales go well.
The future plans will depend on a few factors, high sales volume and high demand being a major one. Customer reaction and demand for the initial imported units will determine if Skoda sees it fit to scale up the operations by starting the assembly at one of two locations in India. Establishing a suitable business will be the responsibility of Skoda as the proposal to assemble the Karoq locally will also require approval from the government, which will only be validated by volume scale.
India’s evolving regulations will also have a say on the matter. Although with the new BS6 norms in practice, emissions regulations are set to further stringent updates with the RDE (Real Driving Emissions) norms expected in 2023. If the Karoq is able to sway the people with its abilities, Skoda will need to assess and prepare for the updates in its assembly operations.
If the brand finally decides to set up camp in India for local production and assembly of the Karoq, it will delight more than just the people over at Skoda. Local assembly operations will bring down the price and see tax redemptions. Local employment opportunities will be created in connection to the Karoq brand, ultimately adding to and boosting the national economy.
Skoda also recently launched the Superb facelift and hinted a 7-seater Kodiaq with a petrol engine for the year end. These models are expected to keep the ball rolling till new products start arriving in 2021 under the brand’s ‘India 2.0’ project, beginning with the Skoda Vision IN-based Creta rival.