Not hybrids, but electrics to be focus for Skoda India

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NEW DELHI: Skoda Auto India intends to start assembly of electric cars in India in the mid-term as it prepares to initially debut in green cars from next year through the imported Enyaq.
However, it does not have any plans to go for hybrids at the moment as it feels that the costs associated with launching them in India would be high, and the sales results may not make up for it.
The company feels that electrics will get greater traction due to the growing acceptance of the green cars as well as the rapidly-developing charging infrastructure.
Petr Solc, the newly-appointed Brand Director for Skoda India, said that the company is working on identifying opportunities for introducing and beefing up its green car portfolio in the country, starting with the Enyaq’s launch next year. The car is already being road-tested in India, and the company hopes to boost its electric portfolio from there onwards.
“The imported Enyaq will be used as a test and pilot case to see the traction of the electric car. If there is good acceptance, then we will look at having parts and components operations (CKD and SKD kits) for electrics. Only after this can we look at a highly-localised production to make the cars affordable,” Solc told TOI.
Skoda leads Volkswagen’s group charge in India and as part of the India 2.0 strategy, it has spearheaded roughly Rs 8,000 crore worth of investments in the market. The investment has seen the VW group launch four highly-localised cars in India – the Kushaq SUV and Slavia sedan under Skoda badging, and and their twins Taigun and Virtus under Volkswagen.
Solc said that Skoda expects that while electrics pick up in India, the demand for internal-combustion petrol engine cars would also remain robust.
With the Kushaq and Slavia, the company is already on a high when it comes to sales of locally-made cars. It expects the volumes to cross 50,000 units this year, its highest number and more than the previous peak of 34,678 units that was achieved in 2012.

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