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Skoda Auto India starts production of Rapid from Chakan Plant Print E-mail
Written by Vivek   
Monday, 10 October 2011
Pune: Skoda Auto India began production of its much anticipated entry level sedan, the Skoda Rapid at its plant in Chakan, near Pune. Skoda Rapid is the first car from the Skoda brand which has been designed, keeping in mind the special needs of Indian customers and will be exclusively manufactured in India.

The commencement of production of Skoda Rapid is in line with Skoda Auto's 2018 growth strategy which aims to double sales globally to at least 1.5 million units. Skoda Rapid will be entirely manufactured in India. It will be positioned at the entry level of the country's mid-sized sedan segment.

"Today is the official Start of Production for the Indian variant of our new Rapid compact saloon. Effective immediately, the first unit of the Skoda Rapid will be rolling off the line in this plant. The car will be introduced in the market shortly. It is an attractive car with lots of space and room for five persons," said Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland, Chairman of the Board of Management, Skoda Auto a.s.

The car will be offered with a choice of diesel and petrol engines. With the introduction of the Skoda Rapid, Skoda will now offer cars to suit the needs of a larger customer base in India. It will compete in the entry level sedan segment which is in the Rs 5.5-7 lakh range. It is being produced on the same platform as the VW Vento and will be priced lower. The car is expected to enter Europe and China during 2012-13.

"Skoda has always been an integral part of the plant in Chakan. The first car that was produced at this plant was a Skoda Fabia, and we are happy to roll-out the Skoda Rapid on this occasion. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Volkswagen and Skoda teams for this success that has been achieved as a result of their synergies," said Dr. Chacko, Volkswagen Group Chief Representative India, President and Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Limited.

Skoda also plans to bring in the Citigo compact, unveiled recently at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The company's Aurangabad plant caters to top-end models of Audi, VW and Skoda, while the Chakan plant produces VW and Skoda models which are produced on a common platform like the Polo/Fabia and Vento/Rapid.

The Pune plant is a key element in Skoda Auto's India strategy. The scale of investment, commissioning local suppliers and employing people primarily from the region itself demonstrate Skoda Auto's commitment to India.

Expressing his gratitude to the employees on the occasion Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland further said, "Skoda Rapid is a true reflection of our motto 'Simply Clever' with your work ladies and gentlemen, you will contribute to the new Skoda becoming a success in India. In this context, local sourcing and local production are essential. Our aim is to make cars of the highest quality. Your competence and know-how are what will make this happen".

Skoda is making an important contribution to the economic development in the region and also in the Indian economy in general.

Its parent company, Volkswagen aims to become the world's largest automaker, ahead of General Motors and Toyota, by 2018. By then Skoda's sales from Europe is expected to go from 60 percent to 40 percent, as its global sales increases. India, China and Russia are expected to play a major role in helping Skoda achieve its target of 1.5 million cars by 2018. 

Last Updated ( Monday, 10 October 2011 )
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