ŠKODA is presenting its Vision IN concept study at the Auto Expo 2020 from 5 to 12 February. The study gives a concrete preview of a new mid-size family SUV and is the first model ever to use the MQB-A0-IN variant of the MQB car platform, which has been specially adapted for the Indian market. As part of the INDIA 2.0 project, ŠKODA has been responsible for heading Volkswagen Group’s model campaign on the Indian market since June 2018. The consolidation of the three Volkswagen Group passenger-car companies previously represented in India to form the new ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL) in October 2019 marked an important milestone for the project. It enables coordinated, faster decision-making and increases efficiency by exploiting existing synergies. In terms of models, ŠKODA will also be showcasing the Karoq as a newcomer to the Indian market, the updated Superb flagship, the Monte Ccarlo and Matte Concept 1.0 TSI of the Rapid, as well as the Kodiaq and the sporty Octavia RS 245.
ŠKODA has continued to evolve its brand-typical design for the Vision IN and, by showcasing it in New Delhi, is giving a concrete preview of the design language for a new, mid-size family model. The Czech car manufacturer will proceed with its SUV campaign in the rapidly growing Indian market by launching the production version of the Vision IN in early 2021. It will be the first production model to use the new, localised MQB-A0-IN platform. The Vision IN offers an optimum amount of space, perfectly combined with the highest degree of versatility and state-of-the-art technologies. The 4,256-mm-long concept study has a wheelbase of 2,671 mm and is powered by a 1.5 TSI petrol engine that delivers 110 kW (150 PS).
Its elongated lines and long wheelbase make the mid-size SUV concept study appear larger and, alongside the large bonnet and 19-inch (48.26-cm) alloy wheels, bring out the extroverted and incredibly rugged exterior design of the ŠKODA Vision IN.
The Vision IN is clearly identifiable as a member of the ŠKODA SUV family thanks to the partially illuminated crystalline elements in the LED headlights and tail lights as well as on the grille and the striking light strip at the rear. Its bright orange metallic exterior colour conveys a zest for life and creativity.
Modern technologies, Indian heritage and vegan materials
In the interior of the Vision IN, ŠKODA has combined state-of-the-art technologies and innovative vegan materials with traditional Indian design and Bohemian crystal glass art. The decorative trim on the dashboard has drawn inspiration from Kalamkari, an Indian textile printing technique that uses hand-carved wooden stamps to print traditional fabric patterns. The interior also makes use of rhubarb leather, an innovative organic leather, as well as oak leather and the leather alternative made from waste pineapple leaves, Piñatex, for the seat covers, for example. The roof lining is made of recycled plastic fibres, whilst the decorative strips are made of genuine crystal. A crystalline assistant in the centre of the dashboard acts as a bridge to the digital world, as do the free-standing central display with a 12.3-inch (31.24-cm) screen, the individually customisable Virtual Cockpit and shift-by-wire technology for the 7-speed DSG.
Other new ŠKODA models for the Indian market
Alongside the Karoq featuring a 1.5 TSI engine with a power output of 110 kW (150 PS) as a newcomer to the Indian market, ŠKODA is also showcasing a Superb L&K and a Kodiaq L&K, each fitted with a 2.0 TSI delivering 140 kW (190 PS), at the Auto Expo 2020 in New Delhi. The sporty Octavia RS 245 producing 180 kW (245 PS), the Rapid in the Monte Carlo trim level and Matte Concept 1.0 TSI, as well as a 2.0 TDI Superb SportLine outputting 140 kW (190 PS) round off the ŠKODA models on display at the exhibition.
In addition to current models, ŠKODA will also exhibit a 1948 ŠKODA Superb OHV at its stand. The vehicle equipped with bodywork manufactured in the Kvasiny plant has been lovingly restored over the last three years.
ŠKODA AUTO is responsible for leading Volkswagen Group’s model campaign in India
Since mid-2018, ŠKODA has been heading the INDIA 2.0 project and has thereby also been responsible for Volkswagen Group’s model campaign in India. In order to strengthen its position in this important growth market for the long term, Volkswagen Group is investing a total of one billion euros in the project, 250 million euros of which will go into research and development. ŠKODA and Volkswagen are seeking to achieve a combined market share of five per cent by 2025, depending on market and segment development. ŠKODA and Volkswagen’s upcoming volume models for the Indian market are based on the locally developed and produced MQB-A0-IN platform.
Models developed for India to be based on market-specific MQB-A0-IN platform
ŠKODA has developed the MQB-A0-IN platform specifically with a regional focus, ensuring that it already fulfils the upcoming, stricter safety and emission requirements for new vehicles on the Indian market. The platform will be the basis for all future ŠKODA and Volkswagen brand models developed in the region. ŠKODA will also be assessing the possibility of exporting cars manufactured in India to other countries. The ŠKODA Vision IN concept study, being unveiled at the New Delhi motor show, is the first vehicle based on this platform.
Maximum market proximity is a key factor in the highly dynamic Indian market
The Technology Centre opened in Pune in January 2019 guarantees optimum market proximity: 95 per cent of the vehicles based on the MQB-A0-IN platform will be built locally. October 2019 then saw the transformational merger of Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd (VWIPL), Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt Ltd (NSC) and ŠKODA AUTO India Pvt Ltd (SAIPL), forming ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL) with the aim of making better use of existing synergies. In addition to cars from ŠKODA and Volkswagen, the joint venture’s portfolio will include vehicles from the Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini brands, and will cater to various market segments and budgets with almost 30 models.
Integrating local knowledge in the next steps of the 2025 Strategy
The opening of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab India also demonstrates India’s importance to ŠKODA. The carmaker is expanding the network of its innovation hubs and developing clever mobility solutions locally. The new solar-power rooftop system at the plant in Pune also set new benchmarks. Consisting of 25,770 photovoltaic modules covering 63,000 m², it is one of the largest of its kind in India and will cut the site’s carbon footprint by 9,000 tonnes per year in future. The manufacturer has thereby laid the foundations for becoming climate-neutral by 2030.
ŠKODA AUTO’s rich history on the Indian market
ŠKODA currently offers four locally manufactured model ranges in India, which are produced at two plants: the ŠKODA Rapid is made at the site in Pune; the ŠKODA Octavia, Superb flagship, and the Kodiaq SUV roll off the line in Aurangabad. The Karoq, which is being presented in New Delhi as a new model for the country, will be launched onto the market this year.
In addition to its headquarters in Pune, ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited has regional offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
ŠKODA’s history in India goes back a long time: In May 1934, four ŠKODA Populars set off on a 15,000-km-long journey that led from Prague to the Balkans, Turkey, present-day Syria, Iraq and Calcutta. From there, they went to Mumbai and finally sailed back to Prague via Trieste.
Just two years later, in the summer of 1936, the Czech globetrotters Břetislav Jan Procházka and Jindřich Kubias embarked on a 97-day world tour, driving their slightly modified ŠKODA Rapid from Quetta to Mumbai via New Delhi in just three days.
Not least thanks to the great amount of attention these expeditions drew, ŠKODA began to export up to 90 vehicles a year to India in the second half of the 1930s, making the country the seventh largest of the Czech carmaker’s then 39 export markets in 1938. In 2001, the car manufacturer established its own subsidiary on the Indian market, ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited.