India to become export hub for Skoda Auto from next year, says co official

Czech automaker Skoda Auto said India will become an export hub for the company as it is set to start exporting car kits for assembly in Vietnam from next year.

The company, which posted a whopping 125 percent year-over-year rise in its vehicle sales at 53,721 units in 2022, also looked hopeful for double-digit growth this year as well.

Similarly, Volkswagen Group sales grew by 85.48 percent year-on-year to 1,01,270 units in the previous calendar year.

The group is present through the Skoda Auto, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini brands under Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd (SAVWPIL).

“India is a very important market as part of our regional strategy for Skoda Auto, and India will become an export hub for Skoda,” Petr Solc, Brand Director, Skoda Auto India, told PTI in an interaction.

Volkswagen already exports cars from India to Mexico and South Africa while Skoda Auto exports to the Middle East and North Africa. Solc stated that starting next year, we will start exporting vehicle kits for assembly in Vietnam.

Export is already and will continue to be an important part of Skoda and Volkswagen’s strategy, he said.

Pointing out that Skoda Auto India delivered for the first time more than 50,000 vehicles in the domestic market last year, he said that we would like to grow with the market or even faster and our ambition is to grow into double digits.

He said 2022 was meant for the company because of the launch of the Slavia, and added that there was this kind of one-off effect for any new model introduction.

Now, we have both models (the all-new Slavia sedan and Kushak SUV) on the market and we can now enjoy having both models on the market for the entire year, he said.

Solc said the Kodiaq seven-seat SUV will also play a role in terms of the company’s growth strategy, especially when there’s a much larger supply now.

Asked about Audi, which was at one time the undisputed leader in the domestic premium luxury car market, Christian Kahn von Selen, member of the board of directors for sales, marketing and digital at SAVWPIL, said its growth was “impressive in terms of volume in 2022 compared to last year, which is still significantly hampered by the chip supply situation even in Europe.

So Audi’s growth is impressive, and we certainly plan on continuing so as far as I think, I can say we’re going to see a lot of new product introductions here on the other side.

On the company’s foray into the Indian market for electric vehicles, Solc said that it depends on the development of the sector in the country.

Late last month, European automaker Skoda announced its electric vehicle roadmap, which includes six electric vehicles in phases by 2026.

“We as a manufacturer and Skoda, we will be ready. And if we see good momentum, we are talking about speculating that the car or electric car market can continue in 5-10 years, even 20, maybe 30 percent. We don’t necessarily know,” he said.

So that may be part of, we’d like to also be within that range, but again we’re dependent on responsiveness. He said that if we see more manufacturers, infrastructure built here and there, customer acceptance to buy electric vehicles, we will be ready, he said.

He said the company is discussing which models it should bring in future also to India as an electric car.

“And if we see the potential in the market, we will also introduce it. So I can’t necessarily say the percentage. But if the market is going towards more than 20 percent electric vehicles of the total market, we would like to penetrate the electric vehicle segment,” Solc added.

(Only the title and image for this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a shared feed.)