Skoda does not want to be left behind in the race of introducing a small car in India. Small Cars make a major part of car sales in India and the leader in this segment is Maruti Alto, which is no less than a trump card for Maruti Suzuki India. There are only few competitors to Alto in true sense. Hyundai is also on the road to bring their small car Hyundai 800 or Hyundai HA which will be launched before end of 2011 to rival Alto. The other cars like Chevrolet Spark, Hyundai Santro, etc. are priced slightly above the price bracket of the Alto. The smallest car from Skoda India is the Skoda Fabia which has been refreshed and been provided with more engine options making it a somewhat more value for money in its segment. The price of Fabia starts at around Rs. 4.4 Lakhs which is way above the price segment of the hot selling small car category of cars priced close to Rs. 3 Lakhs.
To claim its fair share of the small car segment, Skoda will bring a smaller car (speculated Skoda Joyster) which will fit in the Indian small car segment in price as well as specifications. Also the car will be launched with both MPFI Petrol Engine as well as CRDI Diesel Engine options to make it an even attractive buy for cost conscious buyers in India. With the Petrol Prices shooting to the sky in India, it makes a lot of sense to have a Diesel option for small cars for an economical running cost.
Its not yet clear that the Skoda Small car will be based on Volkswagen Up small concept platform or some new platform or even a slightly reduced Fabia Platform. The small car will have high levels of localization and will be manufactured in India only to keep the prices in the desired price segment of Rs. 3 to 4 Lakhs for petrol and Rs. 4 to 5 Lakhs for Diesel car. The car will hit Indian roads in year 2013, which may seem like a long wait, but its a wise move by Skoda considering the increased demand and growth rate in the sales of small cars in India.
In an interaction with media, Thomas Kuehl, Chief of Sales and marketing, Skoda India quoted:
We are planning to launch an entry level small car in the price range of Rs. Lakh to Rs. 5 Lakh.
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