That’s how confident we are with our answer when it comes to the recently unveiled Kamiq SUV for the Chinese market. It’s the third SUV in Skoda’s current avatar and joins the likes of the Kodiaq and the Karoq that, along with seven more SUV styled vehicles, will become a 10 model offering from the Czech automaker by 2020.
In the Skoda hierarchy, the Kodiaq is an SUV to the Superb while the Karoq is an SUV to the Octavia. This means that the Kamiq is an SUV model for the Rapid sedan and given the demand for such kind of vehicles, it will be positioned above the sedan and that’s where things get interesting.
In the Indian market context, this elevated position puts the Kamiq in the league of the Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano as well as entry-level versions of the Mahindra Scorpio, Jeep Compass, Mahindra XUV500 and Tata Hexa.
This is prime D-segment territory where the traditional sedans have been driven out and been replaced by SUVs from their respective manufacturers. It’s where Kia is making its debut and also where we believe that MG and Peugeot will make their respective debuts in the Indian market.
In this large group of vehicles, the average number, in terms of sales, is anything between 1500-2500 units which is very respectable when you consider pricing. Of this lot, the most successful one appears to be the Creta which clocked 10,000 units last month. So you see even mathematically, there’s a large pie and we can see that the Kamiq is a sharp enough knife that Skoda can use to cut itself a piece of the pie.
It must be remembered that the Kamiq, if launched here, will not be Skoda´s first SUV foray in the D-segment. Car lovers of the millennial age will remember the mighty Yeti SUV made world-famous by the image of a certain Mr Jeremy Clarkson eating an ice-cream cone while driving through a burning hay barn.
It was a car that did not do well India as it was well ahead of its time and in the end faded out like a professional sportsman attempting to take on much younger rivals. But this time around, the trend looks to be different and the Kamiq also appears to be a safer option.
Lastly, Skoda is taking the helm of parent company Volkswagen’s future plans for the Indian car market and is expected to be a major force in the development of MQB A0-IN platform. This means that the India-spec Kamiq will share much of itself with the production spec Polo based T-Cross SUV, thus making another case for why the SUV should be launched here.