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Skoda Makes Rapid Strides

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As part of the Volkswagen (VW) Group, Skoda was always the younger sister. But the brand has come in to its own over the last five years. In fact its sales increased from about 6,60,000 in 2010 to 8,75,000 units in 2011 with a 15 per cent growth in a market growing under 5 per cent. Its come back has been marked by the Indian market which is 6 per cent to its overall numbers. The Indian market in 2011 itself grew by 50 per cent over 2010 and Skoda will sell close to 45,000 cars this year. "We are very pleased that as a brand we have offered the right products over the last year or so," says Jurgen Stackmann, member of board of management in Skoda. He says that the key was to focus and realign distribution.  The brand now has 100 dealerships, up from 90 in 2010.

Skoda has a market share of less than 2 per cent in India. It is making plans to focus on the ASEAN market and is focusing on Russia and China too. China was its biggest market with more than 2,00,000 cars sold. "We are a volume manufacturer and are constantly looking to use group synergies to reach out to the customern" says Stackmann.

The brand has unveiled the 1.6 diesel Rapid and is looking to capture the A3 segment of cars where it will compete with VW's Vento, Honda's City and Hyundai's Verna. The Superb is the highest selling car in the A4 premium segment for Skoda where it has sold close to 3000 cars.