Technology

Skoda Auto aims to make India its fifth-largest market

Czech firm Skoda Auto is striving to make India its fifth-largest market, selling about 75,000 vehicles annually by 2023, driven by dealer expansion and new product launches.

“My personal target is to be the fifth biggest market for Skoda worldwide by 2023,” Zac Hollis, director-sales, service and marketing, Skoda Auto India.

“Currently, we are number 13… Presently, the U.K. — which is my home country — is the fifth largest market,” he told.

To enhance the fifth largest market, the company would need to sell about 75,000 cars a year. In 2018, Skoda Auto India sold more than 17,240 units.

Asked if the popular slowdown in the auto industry would impact the company’s plans, Mr. Hollis said, “When you have an economy like India, growing at about 7%, the car industry will continue to grow… I think the next two years will be a little bit turbulent because of the change from BS IV to BS VI… It will cause some disruption to the market. Nevertheless, I would still expect the market to grow this year over the last year, and next year to grow over this year.”

He, but, added that the company had become a “mainstream player” as opposed to a “niche player” with the introduction of new products such as mid-size SUV, which would cater to a large segment, only in 2021.

Mr. Hollis told the company is also looking at expanding dealer network, build brand awareness, reduce the cost of ownership and change the perception in the marketplace around their service experience.

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