Bangalore: Skoda Auto India Pvt. Ltd, the local arm of Czech-based Skoda Auto AS, a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, is hoping for single-digit sales growth in 2009, far lower than the 38% rise it registered last year.
The maker of premium vehicles sold 16,200 cars in 2008, including 8,500 Octavia and Laura sedans and 7,000 Fabia hatchback. “My first target is that we at least have single-digit growth,” Ashutosh Dixit, general manager, sales, said at the launch of two variants of the Superb in Bangalore.
Cautious note: Thomas Kuehl (L) and Ashutosh Dixit of Skoda India at the launch of two Superb variants in Bangalore on Wednesday. Shailendra Bhojak / PTI
The company is confident of growth in 2009 “even though the conditions in our segment are difficult, especially the Laura, Octavia segment,” he added.
Dixit is banking on the Superb and the Fabia to drive sales in 2009. As the economy slows and customers delay purchases, domestic passenger vehicle sales in 2008-09 is estimated to have grown only 3.5% year-on-year, down from 13-14% in the past couple of years, V.G. Ramakrishnan, senior director (automotive and transportation) at consulting firm Frost and Sullivan India Pvt. Ltd, said recently.
Skoda is targeting a 2010 launch for its sports utility vehicle Yeti and is conducting feasibility studies to introduce its multi-utility vehicle Roomster and premium sedan Combi.
Skoda plans to draw from its parent Volkswagen group’s expanding presence in India. For instance, the Fabia will share engines with the Polo, which is set to enter India in 2010, as will Volkswagen’s Jetta with Laura.