Skoda Auto, a Volkswagen subsidiary, plans to launch mini-sports utility vehicle (SUV) priced below Rs 10 lakh. This is the first time a global company is looking to introduce an SUV in this price segment.
Big international companies such as Mitsubishi, Toyota, General Motors, Hyundai and Skoda sell SUVs in India, but at prices above Rs 15 lakh. The Skoda product will directly challenge Indian companies, which offer cheaper options. Mahindra & Mahindra’s Scorpio is priced between Rs 7.43 lakh and Rs 12.39 lakh, while Tata Motors’ Safari Dicor costs between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 13 lakh.
Recently Fabia Scout mini crossover was spotted around Pune. So according to me the said SUV might be the Skoda Fabia Scout.
Now the Scout is essentially a Fabia with bigger wheels, better ground clearance, plastic side cladding, a sportier look and most importantly, a 4×4 option. The engine options for the SUV version of the hatch will also be altered, with the 1.6-liter diesel found in the Vento making for an obvious choice. There may be some additional goodies within the cabin too to justify the higher price tag.
Skoda’s new SUV could also pose a challenge in the luxury mid-sized sedan market, which includes Honda City, Volkswagen Vento and Hyundai Verna.
Thomas Kuehl, a member of the board in charge of sales and marketing, Skoda Auto India, said: “The SUV segment is not growing as fast as was expected. We have to go down and are looking at a product priced below Rs 10 lakh.” Kuehl, however, did not say by when the model would be launched.
“We have over 25 per cent share in the D segment with Superb and 16.5 per cent share in the segment that has Laura. We are working to increase our presence in the SUV category,” said Kuehl.
Also see – Spied – Skoda Fabia Scout