Skoda eyes 10% of mid-size SUV market with Kushaq

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Czech carmaker Skoda Auto has entered the highly competitive yet fast-growing mid-size SUV market with Kushaq, its first vehicle under the India 2.0 initiative to break into the mainstream market with made-for-India products.

Designed and developed with over 95% local content with inputs from prospective Indian buyers, Skoda is confident that Kushaq will garner a 10% market share or sell a minimum of 3,000 to 4,000 units a month. Its price starts at about Rs 10.5 lakh, slightly higher than rivals Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Renault Duster.

“As you know there are only two major dominant players in the space, so I think we can attain 10% market share,” said Zac Hollis, brand director at Skoda Auto India. “The key criteria for Indian buyers are moving to safety, driving dynamics, engine performance and we are what really matters to the Indian customers.”

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On a low base, Skoda expects its sales to almost triple to 30,000 units in 2021 with almost 80% of its volumes or 24,000 units coming from the new mid-size SUV. With a new midsize sedan to follow Kushaq later in the year, the company aims to more than double its 2021volumes next year. While Hyundai Motor India and Kia India garner over 50% of their sales of Creta and Seltos from the diesel-powered vehicles, Skoda is going with an all-petrol portfolio.

Hollis said there is no longterm future for diesel in India especially with the new emission norms lined up in the coming years. “Over a period of time, the share of petrols in SUVs is rising and we feel our TSI engines are quite superior and deliver all the attributes of power, performance as well as fuel efficiency,” he said.

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