Skoda Auto Volkswagen India is high on the priority list for chip allocation from its German parent, the VW Group, keeping in view the new model introduced by the automaker.
Speaking to our sister publication Autocar Professional, Zac Hollis, brand director, Skoda Auto India, said, “Being the launch market for the Slavia, India is getting priority for chip supplies from the Group.” Moreover, sister brand VW India’s chief, Ashish Gupta, echoed similar views about the Virtus sedan. “Launch markets do get a preference to ensure product success, and so is the case with India right now.”
- Slavia, latest Virtus saw their world premieres happen in India
- Skoda-VW have earmarked chip supplies to control waiting periods
- Skoda confident of manufacturing 3,000 units of Slavia, right from this month
Adequate supply of chips necessary for a successful launch
Both, the Slavia and the latest Virtus, have seen their global premieres in India. The Skoda sedan was recently launched at Rs 10.69 lakh-17.79 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The VW Virtus, too, has just been unveiled and will see a market debut later in May. The cars go head on with well-entrenched rivals, like the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.
The pair of sedans round up the automaker’s €1 billion (over Rs 8,000 crore) ‘India 2.0’ project that also saw the introduction of the Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun SUVs last year. As such, the success of the sedans is crucial to VW Group’s renewed effort in India.
The semiconductor crisis that has gripped the auto industry ever since the COVID outbreak has sent waiting periods for various models across the auto industry soaring. This can especially hurt people’s interest in a newly launched product, something that the Skoda-VW combine is wary of, and, as such, it claims to have earmarked sufficient chip supplies from its parent company.
Skoda’s Hollis said things on the semiconductor front are slowly improving, and there’s confidence about near-sight production. While the situation is significantly better compared to last year, when carmakers and part suppliers were scrambling for semiconductor chips amidst huge global shortage that had brought assembly lines to a grinding halt, threat looms large by the unfolding geopolitical catastrophe between Russia and Ukraine.
“Everything is very fresh and all I can do is pray for the people affected personally by all that’s happening," Hollis remarked. "I hope the situation improves really soon so that we can get back to normality. But I don’t know what its impact would be on automobile production going forward."
“Having said that, we have production secured at the moment, but anything can happen,” he added.
Skoda expects Slavia to match Kushaq sales
Commenting on the availability of the Slavia in the Indian market, Hollis said, “Our plan is to produce 3,000 units of the Slavia in March alone.”
Moreover, the Czech brand is aiming for average monthly sales of 2,500 to 3,000 units for its sedan – a target similar to the one it’s set for the Kushaq. To that effect, Skoda hopes to take its annual volumes to over 70,000 units in calendar year 2022 – a three-fold growth over last calendar’s 23,000 units.
Notably, sister brand Volkswagen anticipates a similar number, with the Virtus, in monthly sales.
What do you think of Skoda-VW’s attempt to keep waiting periods for their new models in check? Let us know in the comments below.