Mumbai: Skoda Auto India Pvt. Ltd, the local unit of the Czech carmaker owned by the Volkswagen Group, on Thursday appointed Gurpratap Boparai as managing director, effective 2 April.

The post had been vacant since Sudhir Rao exited in July 2017.

Boparai, 48, has been chief executive at Fiat India Automobiles Ltd since 2012, and has over 20 years of experience in the industry, having worked at Tata Motors Ltd as well.

The Indian market plays an important role in Skoda’s global growth strategy, the company said in a statement. Boparai will be responsible for launching the Volkswagen Group’s MQB A0 IN (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform in India by 2020, a mandate commissioned by the Group “to evaluate a global architecture for volume segments". Mint first reported the story on 14 August.

Skoda also “plans to produce competitive volume models for the Skoda and Volkswagen brands in India", the statement said.