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Czech auto major Skoda on Tuesday launched an upgraded version of its premium sedan Superb at a discounted price for the Indian market.

The new Superb, of which only one variant will be available now, is priced at Rs 1.88 million (ex-showroom Delhi), while the older models were priced between Rs 2.01 million and Rs 2.27 million.

Skoda India’s board member (incharge of sales and marketing) Thomas Kuehl said the new price positioning was very important for the company in a price-sensitive market like India.

“India is an extremely price sensitive market. One of our challenges was to get the price right so as to make the product a value proposition,” he told reporters at the launch.

Kuehl said Skoda Auto was looking at gaining the top spot in the premium car segment with the new launch. The company expects to achieve a four-figure sales this fiscal for the new variant.

Skoda sold 522 Superb models in the last 11 months.

The new Superb comes with a “fuel-efficient” new TSI (Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection) petrol engine.

The auto industry in India and “all of the east” was on the path of revival unlike the developed world and the next few months would bring back the growth momentum, Kuehl said.

Apart from regular Skoda features like a patented twin door boot, the new variant comes equipped with a front and rear parking sensor, pedal shift for the seven-spead gearbox and eight front and rear seat airbags.

Source: Pricewale.com

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This year’s Monte Carlo Rally, the jewel in the international rally crown, got the Intercontinental Rally Challenge off to a flyer. The sport has been rocked with manufacturers leaving en masse, some of them due to the economic turmoil, many of them due to their failure to put on strong performances and some because they just couldn’t justify their presence in the sport after years of trying.

In such a scenario it was heartening to see Czech car maker Skoda, part of the VW Group, return to top flight rallying. Skoda had been involved in the WRC a couple of seasons ago with a full blown works effort but sadly this never got the results against the might of the Peugeot, Citroen, Ford, Mitsubishi and Subaru opposition.

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It is not the case of the abominable snowman but Czech car maker Skoda — part of the VW Group — is getting ready to pump up its presence in the Indian car market.Dr Thomas Kuehl, member of the board in charge of sales and marketing, informed that his company would be launching an all new small-sized SUV in the country in early 2010.

It is an established fact that Skoda has been mandated within the VW Group (which includes the other mass market brands like VW and Audi which are also in India) to tap all newer markets in the developing world as the group’s entry level marque. The Yeti is a butch little vehicle (based on the design concept of the same name which was shown in 2005) which has been designed for both urban and leisure driving and has the capability of all wheel drive.

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Skoda Auto India, part of Europe’s largest-carmaker Volkswagen, will launch three new variants of its flagship hatchback Fabia, including a new sports model this year, a top company executive said.

The new sports car, Fabia Sportline, will have newly-designed interiors and alloy wheels. It will be fired by a powerful 1800-cc engine to cater to the growing demand for sports vehicles. The existing Fabia range comes with 1200-1600 cc engine capacity.
“We will launch multiple variants of the Fabia to leverage on its popularity. We will introduce Fabia Combi (estate version) and the tallboy Roomster models to consolidate the brand in the Indian market. We will also showcase the Fabia Rally car, though it will not be available for retail sale,” Skoda’s head (sales and marketing) Thomas Kuehl said.

Skoda, the maker of premium cars, is among the few auto makers whose sales have increased in the domestic market when total auto sales have declined due to the financial meltdown. Its sales grew 22% to 11,309 cars in the April-December period.

Fabia is its largest selling brand and the company sold over 7,000 cars in 2008, the first year of its launch.
Currently, Fabia is assembled at Skoda’s Aurangabad facility that will move to Volkswagen’s upcoming plant at Pune in Maharashtra in April-May. Skoda will also launch the next generation models of sedans Superb and Laura in the next few months.

“We have finalised plans to launch the next generation Superb in India and the new Laura will hit the market in the middle of 2009. We want to remain the segment leader in the Rs 10-25 lakh bracket,” Mr Kuehl said.

The company will also venture into the sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment with the launch of its Yeti model in early 2010, expected to be priced around Rs 10 lakh. It will expand its dealership network to 60 this year.

In a bid to augment spare part supplies from its European facilities, Skoda has set up a warehouse at Aurangabad at an investment of Rs 12 crore.

Source: Pricewale.com


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