Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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The pandemic has created a situation that was completely unforeseen, and has impacted all of us across industries and society. To say it has been a difficult period would be an understatement, and the automobile industry was struggling for over two years now, even before Covid-19 became our reality.

This represented a challenging situation for brands across industries, but a few brands rose to the challenge and demonstrated strong growth even in these testing times. Škoda Auto, known to be ‘simply clever’ jumped at the chance to do things differently and undertook digital launches alongside digital sales platforms during the lockdown period portal. The result of this was the launch of three cars together through a first of its kind virtual press conference, with the Rapid 1.0 TSI, Superb, and all new Karoq SUV unveiled to audiences in the month of May 2020, followed by Rapid AT in September 2020.

Building on that momentum, Škoda plans to launch the Kodiaq TSI, new-generation Octavia, much-awaited A0 SUV based on the Vision IN Concept, and a brand new made in India sedan in 2021. All the three cars feature best-in-class TSI engines designed to deliver an exhilarating performance, while maintaining a healthy fuel economy, bridging the best of best worlds and making for exciting times for Indian consumers and enthusiasts. With a wide array of cars on offer, Škoda aims to appeal to diverse segments of the Indian audience and continue to drive growth.

Škoda clearly has their finger on the pulse of the market. The Rapid 1.0 TSI received the best response among recently launched cars, and it underwent a waiting period soon after the launch. Additionally, it has also managed to grab 11% share in the segment in which it operates. To offer some perspective, Škoda sold more Rapid’s in September and July 2020, as against the same time in 2019. That proves that a smart solution that fulfils a real market need will always resonate with car buyers, irrespective of the environment it has been launched in.

It’s not all been easy goings though. Škoda’s journey from zero sales in April to 7% growth in retail sales Y-o-Y in September 2020 has been an arduous one. The brand’s quick pivot saw them garner quick numbers for the Rapid, Superb, and Karoq, which helped the brand tot up retail numbers of 1328 units in the month of September 2020, resulting into a 7% Y-o-Y growth. Apart from that, Škoda also registered a monthly growth of 28% in September 2020 over August 2020. The belief is that the growth graph continues its momentum during the upcoming festive season, laying down a marker and roadmap for other brands to aspire to.

Škoda is also looking to broaden its range of offerings through a Certified Pre-Owned Program, which is part of the brand growth strategy in India. Clearly, personal mobility is gaining increased significance in the months and years to come and Škoda will be offering customers the best quality multi brand pre-owned cars as well as the choicest products from its own product portfolio. All of this ties in with the overarching vision for the ‘India 2.0’ Project, and Škoda plans to motor on in high gear, undeterred by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. That can only be good news for Indian car buyers everywhere.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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