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Skoda considering to locally assemble Karoq SUV in India

Written by Nizam Shaikh

Skoda showcased the Skoda Karoq SUV at the 15th edition of the Auto Expo 2020 in Delhi and the brand launched the SUV in the Indian market a few weeks ago at the price of INR 24.99 lakh ex-showroom. The Skoda Karoq is brought to the country via the CBU (Completely Built-Up Unit) route under the new relaxed import policies which enable manufactures to bring 2,500 vehicles without homologation. 

At this price, the Skoda Karoq demands a premium over competition and rivals mid-size SUVs like the Jeep Compass and the Volkswagen T-Roc in the Indian market. One way to bring the prices down and make it compete better is by bringing the Karoq via the CKD (Completely Knocked-Down) route and assemble the SUV locally at the brand’s Aurangabad manufacturing facility in Maharashtra. 

According to a media report, the brand has suggested that it will be bringing the Skoda Karoq under local assembly in the near future. The brand also hints that it could be subjective to a number of factors which can be interpreted to the demand for the SUV in the Indian market. The brand is currently looking at selling 1000 units of the Skoda Karoq that the brand has imported in the Indian market and will assess its demand for local assembly. 

Skoda also needs to assess evolving emission regulations and add that as a factor when it considers bringing the SUV under local assembly. The country has shifted to BS6 emissions compliance and is scheduled to employ RDE (Real Driving Emission) in the year 2023 and the brand will have to consider them and equip its powertrain technology for these future regulations. 

In related news, under the India 2.0 project spearheaded by Skoda Auto, the brand is also planning to introduce new electric mobility solutions for the mass market in India. The electric-powered mass-market EV is likely to be achieved by localising the battery packs and other components that will help keep the prices relatively affordable.