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No plans to launch sub 4 lakh small car soon: Skoda

By Motortrend India Staff   |   04 January,2012

Czech car-maker Skoda on Thursday said it will not launch a small car below Rs 4 lakh in India immediately as entering the segment will require the company to compromise on "safety" and "quality" of the vehicles.

In 2010, the company had announced to launch a small car in Rs 3-5 lakh range by early this year.

"There is no such plan at present. It is a very demanding market and to enter this segment (Rs 2-4 lakh) it will require us to compromise our belief on safety and quality," SkodaAuto a.s. Member of the board (Sales and Marketing) Jurgen Stackmann told media at the 11th Auto Expo at New Delhi.

Asked if other car makers who are present in this segment like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor and General Motors have compromised on the said two aspects, he declined to comment.

"We do no want to enter a segment only for volume, we want business...we will investigate this segment," he said, adding that it is very tough for a foreign car maker to enter this highly competitive and volume driven segment.

In August 2010, SkodaAuto India Board Member and Director (Sales and Marketing) Thomas Kuehl had said the company will introduce a small car in the Indian market in early 2012, which will be priced between Rs 3-5 lakh.

"We had announced to roll out one new model every year. As part of this strategy, we will enter the volume segment and will launch a small car in early 2012," he had said.

About the possible price range of the vehicle, Kuehl had said, "It will be below the Fabia...Our aim is to price in the Rs 3-5 lakh category."

The company at present sells only one hatchback, Fabia, in the premium category in the Indian market.

SkodaAuto India, which is a part of the European auto major Volkswagen, currently produces its car from two of its group facilities in India, Aurangabad and Chakan.

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