Czech company, Skoda Auto, a subsidiary of Volkswagen (VW), has decided not to re-position its range of cars in India to avoid competition with VW. Skoda has been present in India for a number of years, and is seen as a maker of high-end cars in the country. Its parent company, Volkswagen, on the other hand, is a more recent entrant in the Indian car market, and is yet to find its niche here. Internationally, Skoda is placed a segment lower than Volkswagen. Skoda Auto India Senior GM, Sales and Marketing, Ashutosh Dixit told mediapersons that the company would not change its luxury brand equity, and that it could co-exist with VW, which would have to find its own position. Currently, Skoda’s product range in the country includes the Skoda Superb, the Skoda Laura, the Skoda Fabia and the Skoda Octavia. It will launch its compact SUV, the Yeti, in the second half of 2010. The company recently came up with the idea of opening boutique outlets in India to showcase its products in a more sophisticated manner.
Though the company says it will not change the positioning of all its products, it is expected to introduce cheaper variants of the Fabia before the launch of VW’s Polo. It is currently in discussions regarding the relative positioning of the Polo and the Fabia. Company officials, however, reiterated that the market was big enough for VW’s Jetta and Passat, as well as Skoa’s Laura and Superb. In case of the Polo and the Fabia, both the cars will have high levels of localization, which will benefit consumers, said Thomas Kuehl, head of Skoda India Sales & Marketing.