As part of ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, Škoda Auto will now have an even more important role in India and now take charge from Volkswagen Group over the development of the Indian car market. Volkswagen Group’s position in this important growing market is to be strengthened for the long term.
The world’s largest auto maker Volkswagen has approved its India 2.0 project and given responsibility to its sister brand Skoda to drive the growth on behalf of the group in the coming years. Volkswagen has not only given responsibility to Skoda for the development of India project, but in the coming few months, the Russia plan will also kick off under the Czech car maker.
A letter sent by Volkswagen Group CEO Herbett Diess and Skoda Auto CEO Bernhard Maier to the Indian employees on Friday stated that the group is committed to the Indian market and will be investing substantially for the Indian market. The first ŠKODA model based on the MQB-A0-IN platform will be introduced as early as 2020, they informed. Further vehicles from both Volkswagen and ŠKODA will follow.
The project will be headed by the Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO India Private Ltd, Gurpratap Boparai, who has a deep understanding of the Indian car market.
Around one and a half years ago, ŠKODA AUTO was tasked with developing a sustainable model campaign for the ŠKODA and Volkswagen brands in the Indian volume segments. The result is now on the table.
“It is a great plan and one that the group’s Board of Management and Supervisory Board have approved. It sets the points for successful future for both the Volkswagen Passenger Car and Skoda brands in one of the largest growing markets in the automotive industry. Volkswagen is committed to India and is staying in the market,” added the letter.
They informed the employees that all the models will be designed and produced locally in India in the future will be based on Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, which already fulfils the stricter legal requirements for India that come into force in 2020.
With the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project, ŠKODA AUTO is also taking over responsibility for the sub-compact MQB A0 platform, initially with a focus on India (MQB-A0-IN). Preparations for the India-based development and production of the new, technologically pioneering volume models for the ŠKODA and Volkswagen brands are already in full swing. The introduction of the first ŠKODA model based on the A0-IN platform is scheduled for 2020, stated the press statement from Skoda Auto.
The fundamental advantages of the MQB allows for standardising components, dimensions and production processes, costs are lowered and production times are reduced. Furthermore, the MQB increases flexibility when developing new vehicles. Most of the technical development will take place in India,added the statement.
This means that VW Group is bringing state-of-the-art technology to India, in both for local vehicles and in production.
“We are investing substantially in this key market. As part of this, the ŠKODA team is further developing the MQB-A0 platform with a focus on India (MQB-A0-IN); it is also conceivable that this will be used in other markets and regions in the medium term,” elaborated the letter on the global potential of expanding the development work out of India for global markets.
Most of the technical development will take place in India. The key is that ŠKODA and Volkswagen are pursuing the plan for the future for India together. And both brands will benefit from it.
“Now we are kicking off the next stage. What we have resolved to do is not a foregone conclusion. You are all taking on a lot of responsibility for your respective brands and for Volkswagen Group as a whole. Please take on these tasks with energy and team spirit. Only then can the ‘INDIA 2.0’ project be a success for all of us” both the CEOs signed off.
Today, Skoda Auto India Private Ltd offers four ŠKODA models: the RAPID, OCTAVIA, SUPERB and, since October 2017, the KODIAQ. The RAPID is produced at the Pune plant, whilst the OCTAVIA, SUPERB and KODIAQ models are manufactured in Aurangabad, which is also where the company’s headquarters are located.