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Old 27th September 2014, 13:22   #1
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Default Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

Czech carmaker, Skoda is rumoured to be considering a new hatchback for the Indian market based on the current Rapid sedan. At the moment the company plans to introduce the Rapid facelift in the country and if the car succeeds, a hatchback based on the same platform could be built. The car is likely to use the Rapid's mechanicals as well.

The sharing of the platform and mechanicals with the Rapid will help Skoda keep costs down, which in turn will help it price the hatchback competitively. The wait for the car, however, is going to be rather long as it is not expected to reach showrooms before 2017.

Skoda pulled out the Fabia, its premium hatchback, from the Indian market due to poor sales. The company was making a loss on every unit of the hatchback sold in the country. While it has revealed a new Fabia for Europe, it has made it clear that the car is not being considered for India. However, the company is keen to fill the void left by the old Fabia with a more economically viable offering.

Source: Autocar India
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Old 27th September 2014, 13:45   #2
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Wouldn't a hatchback on the Rapid platform be the Polo? So do they mean to modify the Polo and introduce it as a Skoda hatch? That'll be easy, cos they already have most of the modifications done with the Rapid. Don't understand what else they could mean - why reinvent the wheel?

Last edited by noopster : 27th September 2014 at 20:31. Reason: Typo
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Old 27th September 2014, 15:33   #3
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

Not another Badge engineered car Please!

Rapid=Vento=Polo Sedan;
Rapid Hatchback=Rebadged Polo
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Old 27th September 2014, 16:23   #4
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

The new Fabia is a stunner of a car but it's rather unfortunate that Skoda will not consider this car for India. Since it's based on a brand new platform (newer than the current Polo's) it may not be feasible, at the outset.

Perhaps Skoda will look to re-engineer the current Polo's platform and design a 3rd-World-Skoda-Hatchback so to speak. I'd assume that this would be a filler car till VW decides to bring in the next-gen Polo (new platform) thus giving Skoda also the opportuinity to bring in the new Fabia at a much later stage. I'd also assume that VW will look to flog the current Polo for quite some time.
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Old 27th September 2014, 16:46   #5
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

The Fabia was one generation behind the Polo when both were selling together.

The news says the so called 'Rapid based hatchback' could debut only in 2017. Maybe, we will have the new generation Polo here by then and both will continue to sell together as in old times.
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Old 27th September 2014, 17:14   #6
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Wait! Wasn't rapid a sedan based on Fabia? And now they want a hatchback based on rapid? Wouldnt that be the Fabia itself? I don't understand why skoda is not considering Fabia for India even when it's based on a newer platform than polo. Not only does it look sexy but with good engine options and strategic prizing, they can easily steal a portion of the pie. I'm not very optimistic about this "lower cost" hatchback.
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Old 27th September 2014, 18:16   #7
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

Wow, who comes up with these strategies for Skoda. Fabia was a great product, but overpriced and under-serviced. Now, they are simply thinking of putting the Rapid under a photocopier @ ~75% shrinkage and coming up with a product for our market. I am guess a few more cost cutting measures will see a hatch that will undercut the Polo. With Skoda offering the Yeti only in the top trim, aiming at the top end of the market this seems to be a contradicting strategy.
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Old 27th September 2014, 19:00   #8
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

First it was engines, and now chopping off the boot !!

Fabia anyway looked exactly like the Rapid without boot. I could not really recognize the two when they launched it. So skoda is not saying they are giving us Fabia but it will be the new Fabia

Source: Motoroids
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Old 27th September 2014, 19:33   #9
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

Yes the rapid was based on the Fabia , put them side by side and you will not be able to tell the difference in many angles. So even i am a bit confused on what they mean by saying "based on the rapid"

.... unless the Rapid is going to move closer to the Octavia in terms of design language and the new smaller car will take that forward as well - like the i20 did post the new Verna coming out

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Wait! Wasn't rapid a sedan based on Fabia? .
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Old 27th September 2014, 20:00   #10
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

Quote:
Originally Posted by puchoo View Post
Yes the rapid was based on the Fabia , put them side by side and you will not be able to tell the difference in many angles. So even i am a bit confused on what they mean by saying "based on the rapid"

.... unless the Rapid is going to move closer to the Octavia in terms of design language and the new smaller car will take that forward as well - like the i20 did post the new Verna coming out
The only similarity between Rapid and Fabia is similar looking front end especially Headlamps.

Rapid is a stretched Polo, Not Fabia!
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Old 27th September 2014, 20:04   #11
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autodoc View Post
Wait! Wasn't rapid a sedan based on Fabia?
Quote:
Originally Posted by puchoo View Post
Yes the rapid was based on the Fabia
Rapid was a rebadged Vento with only the front end looks shared with the Fabia. It was based on the Polo, and not the Fabia. There is a lot of difference between the two mechanically and also in the interiors.

Infact, Fabia was a better product IMO when it came to quality. Rapid was always confined only as a cheaper version of the Vento. A rapid based hatchback will only be a rebadged Polo with the Skoda front end design.
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Old 27th September 2014, 20:08   #12
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

Sure , i should have clarified a bit more - ask the end consumer and they are going to perceive the Rapid as being an extended version of the Fabia irrespective of mechanical differences. The front end and headlights are enough to give anyone that impression. Which sales guy in Skoda is going to explain the PQ25 platform -Or the relationship with the MissionL concept for example?

But i am inclined to agree on the Fabia possibly being a better product - i cannot say it with confidence because my interaction with the Rapid has been limited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
The only similarity between Rapid and Fabia is similar looking front end especially Headlamps.

Rapid is a stretched Polo, Not Fabia!
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Rapid was a rebadged Vento with only the front end looks shared with the Fabia.

Last edited by puchoo : 27th September 2014 at 20:13.
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Old 27th September 2014, 20:35   #13
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

So:
Polo + boot = Vento
Vento X rebadge = Rapid
Rapid - boot = Fabia

Old Polo X rebadge = Discontinued Fabia

God-alone-knows ^^ whatchmacallit = Future Fabia (not for India)

Yeah. Makes sense. Good going VW!
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Old 27th September 2014, 21:06   #14
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

Considering the Fabis and Polo share the same underpinnings,why did Skoda lose money on the Fabia apart from the low volume aspect.

The only thing I can think of is that the Polo body panels are pressed in India unlike the Fabia.

I am still puzzled whether the cost of re-engineering the Rapid is worth the effort to get an attractive price point.
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Old 28th September 2014, 06:32   #15
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Default Re: Rumour: Skoda mulls Rapid-based hatchback for India

I think India is a least priority market for quite a few of these carmakers. Their mainline models and volumes are from the big first world markets and evolving markets like China and Brazil. Till our economy grows and mindset/priorities change (to be taken seriously), we will be stuck largely to odd looking mod jobs and stripped down versions (thinner sheet metal et al). Rapid minus boot is just one more chapter to this frustrating tale.
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