After many years of a rough ride, Skoda Auto India expects over 30 per cent sales growth this year on the back of the momentum it has been witnessing of late and has set a target of 18,000 units volume by December. Over the weekend, the Volkswagen Group company rolled out a racing variant of its popular model Octavia- the Octavia RS 230 – at a killer price of Rs 24.63 lakh, which is going to give a tough time to the rivals, which are priced much higher.
The Czech automaker expects the performance-oriented RS 230 to contribute over 15 per cent of the Octavia sales, which is the second largest volume grosser for the company. “Our internal target is to touch 18,000 units volume by December. In the first seven months of 2017, we’ve grown at over 22 per cent to 10,500 units from 13,300 units we had sold in the entire 2016. So, we should be growing at about 40 per cent this year to meet the target. The industry during this period grew just about 10 per cent,” Skoda India sales, service & marketing director Ashutosh Dixit told PTI.
He said August volumes at over 1,750 units are the highest ever for the company and the momentum will gain further speed in the rest of the months due to festive sales. On sales expectation from the new Octavia RS, he said at least 15 per cent of Octavia volumes should come from this, adding that the new car has already received over 100 pre-launch bookings though it’s priced Rs 4.5 lakh above the Octavia.
The RS 230, rolled out from the Shendra plant near Aurangabad, is powered by a 2-litre petrol engine with a top speed of 250 km/hm and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km in 6.8 seconds, making it the fastest Skoda made in the country. Compared to other Octavia models, the RS 230’s chassis is lower by 15 mm. Globally, the company has sold over 2 lakh RS models, half of which since 2013.
The RS 230 is pitched against the BMW 3 Series priced at Rs 43 lakh, the Mercedes C Class Cabriole priced at Rs 49 lakh, and the Jaguar XF, which is steeply higher at Rs 61 lakh. The main difference is that these rival models are diesel-powered, while the RS 230 is petrol-powered. In terms of speed, the RS 230 vrooms to 100 km from 0 in 6.8 seconds, XF does that in 7 seconds, Merc’s C Class in 6.4 seconds, and the 3 Series in 6.1 seconds.
On the new launches, Dixit said the company will shortly roll out the 7-seater SUV Kodiaq, having already launched a new variants of the Superb, the Rapid (Monte Carlo) and the Octavia. It had long back discontinued its compact SUV the Yeti here and currently has only three models on sale now-the Superb, Octavia and the Rapid. On dealerships, he said they have opened four new outlets this year and two more to take the total to 70 by December.