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Octavia replacement coming soon from Skoda

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Skoda India, a subsidiary of SkodaAuto, Czech Republic and part of Volkswagen Group is developing a car to replace the premium sedan Octavia in the country, a top company official said today.

"We are developing a completely new car, to be successor of Octavia...It will be a car also positioned in the 'C' segment," SkodaAuto India Sales and Marketing Director Thomas Kuehl told reporters here.

 

 

He said the company engineers are developing the car at their headquarters and it is likely to be rolled out in India by the second half of 2011.

Besides the new car, the company's much anticipated Sports Utility Vehicle 'Yeti' would also be out on the Indian roads in four weeks.

"Skoda Yeti was displayed in the Auto Expo held (in Delhi) this year... It will be launched in four weeks time...," he said refusing to divulge further details.

"We haven't announced the price of the SUV vehicle... Yet we have already got more than 1,000 bookings," Kuehl said.

Asked on the pricing of the proposed SUV, he said, "I will discuss the price of the car when we launch it... We will be launching two versions with two litre engines...," he said.

Kuel was here to launch the company's upgraded version of popular hatchback 'Fabia' in Tamil Nadu market.  The new car which is available at Rs 4.32 lakh (for the 1.2 litre petrol versions) is the latest hatchback offered by the car maker.

The company, which sold 14,200 units across all models last year, plans to touch about 22,000 units this year.

It is also developing a 'small car'. "Yes we are discussing it... Teams are working on it in the headquarters... We are very strong in the power train...Engineers are having discussions what kind of exchange would happen between Maruti Suzuki and Skoda," he said.

It has entered into an association with country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India to develop the small car.

Kuehl said they want to localise the Fabia, which was having a 40 per cent localisation, to 70 per cent by next year and to have 100 per cent localisation in another three years.

The company currently has a manufacturing facility at Chakan near Pune and it has adequate capacity to increase production. "It is running only in single shift... When we it run for three shifts, I think we will be able to achieve 100 per cent localisation then...," he said.

Skoda Auto currently retails hatchback Fabia in B plus segment, luxury sedan Laura in C plus segment and premium luxury sedan Superb in the D plus segment. It has 31 per cent, 19 per cent and 30 per cent market share in these segments, respectively.