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Skoda could locally assemble the Karoq in India

If the Karoq receives a healthy demand in the India, then Skoda could consider investing more and begin the local assembly of the Karoq

A week back, Skoda launched the all new Skoda Karoq launched at Rs 24.99 lakhs(ex-showroom India) and it has been launched in India as an import. This has resulted in the vehicle being priced quite dearly, and naturally, at a price like this, sales might just be difficult to attain.

The good news is that Skoda is interested in assembling the Karoq on our shores, and this would surely bring a reduction in the price. However, there are a few conditions which Skoda will have to keep in mind before they make the move to initiate the CKD (Completely Knocked Down) process for the Karoq.

Demand is key

Demand would decide the direction Skoda will take with Karoq’s operations in India. The Czech automaker has brought in 1000 units of the Karoq to India, and the customer demand and feedback in the coming months will be crucial for Skoda India. Currently the Karoq found its way to India in the form of the CBU (completely built-up) way, under the Government’s 2,500 homologation-free units rule.

If the Karoq is to be homologated in India, Skoda would have to invest a further amount of capital, and they would be able to justify this, only if the Karoq manages to rope in a large amount of sales. At the current point, with rivals of its segment, like the Hyundai Tucson, Tata Harrier, Volkswagen T-Roc, Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta, managing to battle them and garner sales could be a tough task.

The Emission Norms

India recently evolved from the BS4 norms to BS6 and this did rattle the automarket within the country. Now that BS6 has been brought into effect, the emission norms are further going to be advanced with the RDE (Real Driving Emissions), and these norms are set to be introduced in 2023.  Zac Hollis, director of sales, service and marketing of Skoda India said “We’ve got to make sure that when we do localise, what we localise is able to manage the emission norms, which are coming in 2023, long term.” Skoda will have to adapt their powertrain technology of the Karoq with respect to these upcoming norms.

In a digital conversation with Autocar India, Zac Hollis went on to say “I would certainly like to bring in local assembly of this car, long term, I would like to have that product CKD in India.” The Karoq is currently powered by a 1.5 litre petrol engine which produces 148 ps and 250 nm of torque. This engine coupled with a 7 speed DSG transmission. At a price point of 24.99 lakhs (ex-showroom) the Karoq is quite expensive, but if Skoda does manage to locally assemble the vehicle, the price would reduce, thereby making it cheaper, which could effectively raise sales.

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Siddharth Kapila

22 year old guy whose passion for cars has been ever present. I also read and find peace in sketching. (does not mean I sketch well)

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