Torque Auto - a Skoda dealership from Gujarat - has introduced a unique offer. If you buy a Skoda Rapid, they'll hand over a Fabia free of cost to you 5 years down the line.
The Fabia will be a base variant, while the choice of engine (petrol or diesel) is dependent on whether you choose a petrol or diesel Rapid. This is quite an ingenious campaign and has created a reasonable amount of buzz. However, it's unlikely that too many potential customers will buy a million-rupee sedan based on the promise of a free hatchback 5 years later.
Skoda dealers have been offering discounts of Rs. 100,000 on the Rapid. Of course, if you buy a Rapid under this scheme, no discounts are applicable. When we called the dealer, the sales personnel were initially hesitant to share any information on the phone, insisting that we visit the showroom for full details. On prodding, it was revealed that a brand new Fabia will be handed over in the year 2018. All taxes (including VAT, road tax etc.) and insurance will be borne by the owner. If you'd rather have cash, Torque Auto will pay you Rs. 350,000 in the year 2018.
Torque Auto must have excess inventory of the Rapid or the Fabia, or both. The Fabia is a market dud, selling barely over 200 units each month. This scheme could also be a way of raising finance. To the dealer, the Rs. 1.75 lakh margin on a 2012-build Rapid (with zero discounts) could be worth Rs. 3.5 lakhs 5 years later.
We find it surprising that Skoda has allowed its dealer to run this ad; the campaign could be damaging to the "Fabia" as well as "Skoda" brand names.