Skoda targets 25% sales growth in 2017 in India
Czech automobile firm Skoda is eyeing 25% sales growth in India this year on the back of enhanced customer service, two new upcoming models and upgrades of existing offerings.
The company's arm Skoda Auto India had reported sales of 13,370 units last year as against 15,457 units in 2015, down 13.5%.
"We have been on a drive to improve our sales and after- sales service for the past few years. Last year's sales was as per expectations but this year we are looking at 25% growth," Skoda Auto India Chairman and Managing Director Sudhir Rao told PTI.
Elaborating on the company's confidence of clocking such a high growth, he said Skoda Auto India has been able to address issues that its customers had faced in the past few years with its concerted effort by interacting with them closely.
The company had even reduced its number of dealerships from around 100 in 2013 to 65 at present to align service quality across India with its global standards.
"Today, we are looking forward to growth and expansion. Already in the first quarter of 2017 we have grown by 8%," Rao said.
When asked about the company's product launch plans, he said there would be two new models -- SUV Kodiaq and premium sedan Octavia RS, which are expected towards the later part of the year.
"Along with the existing models, we expect these two new models to contribute to our sales growth this year," Rao said.
Both the new models will be produced from the company's Aurangabad plant.
There will be upgrades of two of its existing models. Skoda sells sedans Rapid, Octavia and Superb in India currently.
When asked if the company's erstwhile hatchback Fabia could make a comeback, Rao said: "There is a space for it in the premium hatchback segment in India but we do not have a definite timeline for it".
On sales network expansion, Rao said this year the company is looking to scale up again to around 70-75 by the end of the year, up from 67 at present.
Rao also said Skoda is taking steps to increase level of localisation in its models by tapping tier II and III vendors in India.