Skoda India has confirmed that its mid-size Karoq SUV is set for an April 2020 launch. In an interview with Autocar India, Zac Hollis, Director, Sales, Service and Marketing, Skoda India said, “From a product portfolio, 2020 is a year of consolidation. We are bringing lots of niche products in India, like the Skoda Karoq in April 2020”.
The Karoq SUV will be brought down as a CBU (completely built unit). Following the Indian government’s decision to ease vehicle import norms, carmakers can now import 2,500 passenger vehicles a year without requiring them to be homologated in India. As a result, Skoda can bring the Karoq to our market quickly, while also saving on the costs for local homologation. However, import duties still apply, so the model will be quite expensive given its size.
Initially, the Karoq in India is expected to come with a BS6-compliant 150hp, 1.5-litre TSI turbo-petrol engine coupled with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The manufacturer is also considering a diesel option for the future. Internationally, the SUV also gets a 115hp, 1.0-litre, TSI three-cylinder unit, while diesel options include a new 115hp, 1.6-litre engine; the 150hp 2.0-litre unit from the Kodiaq; and a range-topping 189hp, 2.0-litre mill.
Aside from the Karoq, Skoda will also launch the Octavia RS 245 – another model to fall under the 2,500 cars rule. The company is banking on these niche models to maintain its sales volume in what will be a challenging year. Commenting on this Hollis said, “We will bring niche products to advertise them in an innovative way and to get consumers talking about them and to see at least the same volume as 2019. So 2019 will finish at around 15,000, and for 2020 the target is also to sell around 15,000 cars.”