Skoda bets on safety for faster growth
Pune: The Czech automaker Skoda is betting big on the safety quotient of its present fleet of cars to target double digit growth this year as it plans to introduce India’s safest small SUV and an EV this fiscal year to boost growth in the fiercely competitive car market in the country.
Skoda’s popular midsize SUV Kushaq and sedan Slavia have already passed the global NCAP crash test, scoring a full 5-star rating for adult and child occupants under updated safety test protocol. And the updated Kodiaq SUV has also received a five-star rating for adults and children in Euro NCAP crash tests.
“Today the key buying criteria for increasing numbers of Indian buyers has moved away from price or features to safety and our products fit the requirement,” said Petr Solc, Brand Director at Skoda Auto India.
He said Skoda has raised the bar on safety on all its cars. “Every Skoda, whether made for India, or the world, is fully 5-star safe for adults and children,” Solc noted, saying safety is at the core of its strategy.
In fact, the European car major claims that all its vehicles sold since 2008 have been five-star rated and cleared stringent European safety norms.
In line with the Indian government's safety vision, the brand intends to build its safe vehicle portfolio in the future. “Safety has been the company’s USP or unique selling proposition over the years, which we are now proactively communicating to Indian buyers,” Solc pointed out.
Skoda Auto India is displaying the car body or sheet metal at various dealerships to educate buyers on the elements of safety. Also, beyond the body shell, the company will be proactively adding a slew of active and passive safety features including ADAS and lane departure warnings in the future.
Last week, Skoda held the ‘Safer With Škoda Track Day’ to showcase the best-in-class active safety features and braking manoeuvres of the Kushaq, Slavia and Kodiaq at NATRAX, Asia’s longest high-speed test track in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
The company already tops safety charts among made-in-India cars in Global NCAP crash tests and its India 2.0 cars are developed from the ground up with extra emphasis on safety.
“We see a potential double-digit growth for Skoda this year. The market (for passenger vehicles) is set to cross 4 million units and we will continue to outperform to gain market share,” Solc said, adding that more new models were lined up for the Indian market.
India is the third-biggest global market for Skoda and it is a key pillar for its growth.