Skoda to add to its SUV line-up in India
7th Mar 2014 4:14 am
New seven-seat SUV will be based on VW's MQB platform. Skoda also evaluating a compact SUV based on the Taigun platform.
Skoda may add four new SUVs in the next five years, company sources have revealed. In addition to the Yeti, Skoda has already confirmed its intention of launching a new big seven-seat SUV to rival the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Fortuner. This new seven-seater will be based on the VW MQB platform.
Werner Eichorn, board member, Sales and Marketing confirmed that Skoda is betting big on SUVs in India too. “We have good experience in 4X4s, so there is scope to grow in that sector. We are analysing if we can get a bigger SUV, which we call ‘A plus’, and internally we are convinced to do it. If the segment trends here stay the same, we have to think about an opportunity below the Yeti.” One reason why Skoda hasn’t axed the slow-selling Yeti in India and instead launched the new one recently, is because of its strategic importance in the SUV segment.
With the facelifted Skoda Yeti that goes on sale later this year, the carmaker is slated to introduce a 1.2 TSI engine option. The 1.2 TSI petrol Yeti will be cheaper than the current base 4x2 Yeti diesel and will also come with only front-wheel-drive. Unfortunately, there are no plans to launch the automatic DSG variant yet.
The carmaker is also evaluating a small, entry-level SUV that could be based on the VW Taigun’s PQ12 platform. In fact, a key challenge for getting the production version of the Taigun signed off for India is having a Skoda version achieve greater economies of scale and drive costs down.