Five years after assuming charge of Skoda Auto India’s operations as chairman and managing director, Sudhir Rao has called it a day at the Czech carmaker's Indian unit.
“Sudhir Rao will be leaving Škoda Auto at his own request on June 30, 2017. We would like to thank him for his commitment over many years and wish him all the best in his future career. We will be announcing his successor in due course,” a Skoda Auto India spokesperson said in a response to our query.
Before Skoda, Rao had worked for nearly 20 years with General Motors and later had a stint with Avtec Engines, a part of Hindustan Motors and the CK Birla Group. In 2008, he was appointed deputy managing director and chief operating officer of Renault India, where he worked till January 2012.
Skoda Auto India sold 13,712 cars in FY2016-17, which is down 10.78 percent compared to last year, and currently has a 0.49 percent market share in passenger vehicles. While Skoda-branded cars are well known for their build quality, the company’s poor aftersales and service have been an area of concern.
Last September, Rao announced a slew of sales and service initiatives aimed at changing the consumer’s perception of the brand for the better. The Czech carmaker had also announced plans to launch four new models in India in 2017, including the seven-seater Kodiaq SUV, the Octavia RS and the Octavia facelift.