Skoda took its time to build the Kushaq as per India’s need. From doing extensive customer surveys to getting feedback from auto journalists and experts from time to time, the Czech automaker left no stones unturned to develop an SUV that could change its market presence in the country. Needless to say, the Volkswagen Group-owned brand has lots of expectations from its first budget compact SUV in India. And finally, all the efforts are proving to pay off for Skoda.
While on one hand, the Kushaq did extremely well by getting over 2000 bookings in just the opening week, on the other, Skoda India recently informed that post the Kushaq launch, it has received more than 200+ applications for dealerships.
Seeing both the customer and dealership demand, one can safely bet that the affordable Skoda SUV is surely going to disrupt the compact SUV market in India.
Following the recent demand, Skoda India has plans to expand its network in more than 100+ cities by August 2021. Furthermore, the company aims to have at least 225 touchpoints by next year including showrooms and service centres.
The Czech automaker will begin its expansion next month from cities like Sangli (Maharashtra), Bhilwara (Rajasthan), Faridabad & Panchkula in Haryana, Navsari & Vapi in Gujarat and Hardoi (UP). The increased outlets will not just help with Kushaq’s sales but the expanded support network will also make it easier for other Skoda products to attract potential customers. Moreover, the wider reach will also mean easier access to authorized service center facilities for the customers which will increase brand trust, ultimately boosting Skoda’s market presence.
Zac Hollis, Brand Director – ŠKODA AUTO India, said, “The launch of KUSHAQ stands testament to a new era for ŠKODA AUTO in India. On the back of this world-class SUV, we had a clear vision of taking the ŠKODA brand to new and emerging markets across the country. I am delighted to share that we will be present in more than 100 cities from the coming month. Enhancing the ownership experience is a key pillar of our growth strategy and increasing our network presence is one of the important pillars to meet this objective.”
Till now, Skoda dealers didn’t cater to the needs of a large section of people in India with its limited lineup of Rapid, Octavia and Superb. And mind you, the latter two are not even easily accessible, for buyers on tight budgets, with their heavy respective starting prices of 26 lakh and 32 lakh.
Then comes in the Kushaq like a breath of fresh air, in an affordable package of Rs 10.49 lakh, that too in a segment which is doing exceedingly well in India lately. Compact SUVs have become the favourite of Indian customers, there are no divided opinions on that, so it does not take a Sherlock in the business strategy department to decide where brands should put their money on.
And rightly so, the Kushaq move is definitely paying off Skoda in more ways than it would have earlier anticipated. Skoda India is now planning to launch a new sedan in the near future. This one will fill the gap between the Rapid and the Octavia.
Skoda will offer the Kushaq with options of a 115PS 1-litre or a 150PS 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine. Transmission includes a 6-speed manual as standard for both the engines, while the 1.0-litre also gets a 6-speed automatic, and there’s also a 7-speed DSG (Dual Clutch Automatic) with the 1.5-litre engine. The booking for the Skoda Kushaq can be made at the brand’s dealership as well as on its website.