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Old 13th September 2017, 14:35   #1
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Default Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025

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Skoda Auto has indicated that it will take the lead in developing a low-cost ‘Eco’ car platform for the VW Group to serve cost-sensitive markets like India. Speaking to Autocar India at the Frankfurt motor show, Skoda Auto CEO Bernhard Maier said, “This is something we are currently evaluating and there are a number of scenarios we are thinking about. One of them could be that we develop a new product line-up on our own. We’ve got a fantastic platform called MQB which is feasible to meet the requirements of the Indian market also in the future, which means after 2020. We are in deep discussion with not just our partner Volkswagen but also our supplier network that we want to establish in India when the plan finally materialises.”
Source

Last edited by GTO : 13th September 2017 at 18:28. Reason: Keeping the fair usage policy in mind, it's best to share an excerpt + link to full article. Thanks
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Old 13th September 2017, 16:29   #2
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Default re: Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025

By the time they finish evaluating whether to develop anything or not, India would have moved on to Electrics.

We don't need a Harvard MBA to find out what works in India and what does not.

Cheap/ECO/Made-for-Gareebs type cars will not work in India. Period.
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Old 13th September 2017, 18:25   #3
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Default Skoda mulling low-cost Eco platform for India

Skoda is reported to be evaluating a low-cost platform - Eco for emerging markets. This platform is expected to be a re-engineered version of Volkswagen Group's MQB architecture.

Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025-volkswagenmqbplatform3.jpg

The MQB is a global platform that underpins many vehicles from small hatchbacks to a large SUVs of the Volkswagen Group. While having a single modular platform for a wide variety of cars can be cost-effective, for a cost-sensitive market like India, it is proving to be quite expensive to produce locally.

With Skoda's low-cost Eco platform, the company hopes to cut down production costs of the MQB platform by removing some of its high-end systems, which allow it to support everything from hybrids to full-electric drivetrains and front-wheel drive to four-wheel drive layouts. Skoda engineers are also reported to be looking at using materials that could help save costs. As an example, hot-stamped high tensile steel body panels are likely to be replaced with cold-stamped lower grade steel. Economies of scale will play a part in deciding the future of the MQB platform in India.

Skoda is aiming to increase its market share in India to 5% by 2025.

Source: Autocar

Link to Team-BHP News

Last edited by TusharK : 13th September 2017 at 18:26.
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Old 13th September 2017, 18:38   #4
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Default Re: Skoda mulling low-cost Eco platform for India

Same old story...
  • Already these foreign car makers do not give the features standard in their local markets when they sell the cars in India.
  • Yet they price the cars premium, no problem I agree that the build quality is generally better than the local / Japanese options.
  • Even sell older generation models in countries like India while new generations are sold in developed world.
  • Now specifically make a cheap, lower quality platform for a dumping yard that we are seen as.

Will they sell their "new platform" based cars at prices comparable to the market leaders here? Obviously not. Just a way to make more margins while having a smaller market share.

Thankfully we are now slowly moving away from buying a "brand" to buying "value product". I hope we stop being 2nd rate soon.
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Old 13th September 2017, 19:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TusharK View Post
Skoda is reported to be evaluating a low-cost platform - Eco for emerging markets. This platform is expected to be a re-engineered version of Volkswagen Group's MQB architecture.
So this means Skoda and VW are going the Ford way. VW group's USP is their build quality. Once you remove that, there won't be any difference between VW and Maruti Suzuki.

Last edited by GTO : 14th September 2017 at 11:51. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers. Thanks!
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Old 13th September 2017, 20:09   #6
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Default Re: Skoda mulling low-cost Eco platform for India

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Originally Posted by TusharK View Post
With Skoda's low-cost Eco platform, the company hopes to cut down production costs of the MQB platform by removing some of its high-end systems, which allow it to support everything from hybrids to full-electric drivetrains and front-wheel drive to four-wheel drive layouts.
Skoda you had me till here. Good step indeed! Specially since their hot products like Rapid and Octavia aren't using either of these (and presuming the new platform products will sell alongside their standard products in the country)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TusharK View Post
reported to be looking at using materials that could help save costs. As an example, hot-stamped high tensile steel body panels are likely to be replaced with cold-stamped lower grade steel. Economies of scale will play a part in deciding the future of the MQB platform in India.

Skoda is aiming to increase its market share in India to 5% by 2025.
And you lost me here!

Skoda should understand that their USP in India despite the After Sales horror stories is their excellent build quality and the ride and handling they offer despite being old-in-the-tooth models (Referring to you, dear Rapid, albeit now with Polo-ish Headlamps). A cousin's pre-facelift Rapid brushed at highway speeds with an 18-wheeler truck and all the car got was three scratches near the C-Pillar as if Wolverine scratched the sheet with his claws. Had it been any other car with a poor build quality, it certainly must have damaged the rear door, shattered glasses, boot area, and maybe even more, though no casualties. Similar trust echoes with everyone who goes ahead to buy a Skoda.

You play with that, and you repeat what Figo did for Ford. gaining market share may get even harder since you lose your loyal fanbase.

what if this is a strategy to introduce new (read cheaper) products and jack up prices of all the 'standard' products, to move them across segments and get fatter margins?
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Old 13th September 2017, 23:41   #7
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Default re: Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025

What an idea Sirjee ? With their present dealer back-up (a majority of their dealers) and the inflated repair bills, plus negative customer feedbacks, the Skoda boardroom decision to develop such a platform could be a pipe dream and a big joke of our times.

The "Eco" platform concept and the low cost car may call for an initial low investment from buyers. Later on, these buyers will have to face service niggles and high cost of repair issues with the Skoda dealers.

The platform can hence be renamed as "Eco2Hi Bill" platform.
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Old 14th September 2017, 11:57   #8
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Default Re: Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025

I don't think either VW or Skoda (or for that matter, any German car maker) can do a 'low cost' product. At least not in the Indian meaning of low cost. It's impossible & an alien concept to them. As the article mentions, what they'll do is cheapen the MQB platform by making it lighter & less safe.

Skoda targeting a 5% market-share in the next 8 years is a dream, at best. After spending almost 2 decades in India, they have a market-share of 0.6% (August 2017 figure). If they think headquarters is going to give them millions of dollars to invest in India after such a poor show, well, they're dreaming again.

Skoda sometimes wants to become a premium manufacturer, and then does a u-turn and says it wants to target the mass market. Their strategy is very incoherent. They should just focus on getting good cars from HQ (Superb, Octavia, Kodiaq, Karoq), market it well here & take care of their customers (another dream???).

You can't be everything to everyone.
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Old 14th September 2017, 12:16   #9
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I feel Volkswagen/Skoda should forget about building "low-cost" car ( scares the crap out of me because I feel it will be one more unsafe car in the market) and concentrate on building affordable EV or even a hybrid would be fine. Since this government is taking the EV path, I think it just does not make sense to invest in a new product that still runs on fossil fuel.
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Old 14th September 2017, 12:24   #10
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Default Re: Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025

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Originally Posted by arunramaswamy View Post
I feel Volkswagen/Skoda should forget about building "low-cost" car
There is no specific car 'for India only'you will see. All Global cars built on the MQB/ A0 platform like the New Polo/ Virtus ( New Vento) and the T CUV's) will come to India in the same architecture.
The cars in this platform will be for India / S America/ M East/ etc.

In a nutshell it means the MQB platform will be 'modified' and all future ( beyond 2019/20) VW and Skoda cars will be manufactured, thus making them viable for exports to specific markerts.

Quote:
The reason this platform has proved costly for the Indian market is because it is packaged for expensive tech, like hybrids, full-electric drivetrains, four-wheel-drive and materials that meet the best European standards. Skoda’s engineers hope to ‘de-content’ the MQB by removing some of these systems which will reduce cost and weight. It is also likely that the high-tensile steel body panels which are hot stamped will be replaced with cold-stamped lower-grade steel, which according to a source “will still exceed the standards in the Indian market.”
Source: as in the OP

Last edited by volkman10 : 14th September 2017 at 12:29.
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Old 14th September 2017, 13:24   #11
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Default Re: Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025

The Rapid has more high speed stability than the Octavia ONLY because it isn't on the cheaper MQB platform. With the decision to go even more lower cost than the MQB we would find that Hyundais and Maruti's handle the same or maybe even better than Skodas.

The only USP of the Germans is their solid build and handling and if they lose that, they would lose everything.

Imagine trying to sell Maruti build with Skoda service.

We would only have the Japs and Koreans laughing all the way to the bank.
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Old 14th September 2017, 13:29   #12
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Default Re: Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025

I was optimistic that once foreign brands launch here, they'll improve the lowest common denominator of India car industry. Indian and Japanese car manufacturers will have to raise their bar to compete. And Germans will have to match service standards that Indians have come to expect of traditional best sellers. But with an Eco car the reverse will happen.

Unfortunately, with this step Skoda will move away from their USP of having cars with good build quality and road manners. Skoda might lose whatever little market share they have because you cant compete with Maruti and Hyundai by simply lowering prices. You need a service network to become mass market.

Skoda can gain market share with current products by simply improving their service standards. Show people that owning a Skoda isnt any riskier than Indian/Japanese brands. What goes in Skoda's favor today is their brand premium and I think they shouldnt dilute it at all. People are willing to pay premium prices for their cars and that is their strength.
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Old 14th September 2017, 14:10   #13
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Default Re: Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025

Dear Skoda, these 5% market share plans never work out. Here is some strong evidence for your perusal:

Nissan progressing towards 5% market share in India
http://www.business-standard.com/art...2600092_1.html

5% market share by 2020 is achievable: Datsun India
http://www.financialexpress.com/indu...saigot/776325/

Renault eyes 5% share of passenger car market in 2017
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...cle9442284.ece

Fiat India eyeing 5% market share by 2010
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...cle1739028.ece

GM targets 5% market share in India
http://www.team-bhp.com/news/gm-targ...et-share-india
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Old 15th September 2017, 10:31   #14
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Default Re: Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Nissan progressing towards 5% market share in India

5% market share by 2020 is achievable: Datsun India

Renault eyes 5% share of passenger car market in 2017
Don't want to take the thread off-topic, but Carlos Ghosn had once said that he wants the 'entire' group to have 5% market-share in India. All of us had laughed hard on that statement.

Well, they did it. August figures:
Renault: 3.3%
Datsun: 1.28%
Nissan: 0.37%

It's been a bit higher also in earlier months.
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Old 29th September 2017, 10:05   #15
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Default Skoda India to enter volume segment with low-cost products

Skoda is planning to enter the volume segment in India with new, low-cost products. The company hopes to attract new customers to the brand and thus increase their market share.

Skoda to develop low-cost ‘Eco’ platform for India, wants 5% market share by 2025-skoda.jpg

Back in November 2016, we had reported that Skoda had decided to focus on premium vehicles for the Indian market and that the company had no plans to enter the small car business for at least a couple of years. But, according to Bernhard Maier, Chairman of the board at Skoda Auto, the car maker seems to have realigned its strategy for India.

Skoda - a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group is evaluating new platforms that could form the basis for future products for cost-sensitive segments in India. Skoda is reportedly working on a low-cost, re-engineered version of VW Group's MQB platform called 'Eco'. It also plans to set up a technical development centre in India.

Source: Economic Times
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