Recently, Volkswagen had entered into a memorandum of understanding with Tata Motors to explore joint development of new products for India and other emerging car markets. Skoda who has been earmarked to spearhead this alliance is already planning a slew of products based on the new AMP platform being developed by Tata Motors.
The AMP platform being developed by Tata Motors is India-specific which means it is low cost and will be able to spawn entry-level sedans and compact SUVs off it. Skoda is planning to build a compact SUV – a competitor to the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Ford Ecosport – one of the highest growing segments in the Indian car market. Another segment Skoda is looking to venture into is the budget sedan which will ideally sit below the Skoda Rapid and might be a sub-four metre offering or something akin to the Fiesta Classic if the GST rules do not have special sops for sub-four metre cars.
The Volkswagen group does have a budget platform in form of the MQB but it is still expensive to build in the Indian context often driving the price tag outside the competitive range. The Advanced Modular Platform (AMP) will help Skoda fight the price-sensitive budget segment fairly well which in turn will also work for the VW group in positioning Volkswagen at a premium over Skoda, as it does globally.
Skoda has been working on improving their service quality and reducing service costs by reigning in the over-zealous dealers. The bad customer experiences over the years have been the Czech car maker’s bane. Sudhir Rao, MD Skoda India, said “Service quality and customer experience at dealerships were critical elements for us, and something that required attention. We have worked tirelessly to fix issues around this area and are now set to move ahead with the product strategy.”
Source: Times of India