Priced between Rs 6.75 lakh and Rs 9.19 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), Czech car-maker Skoda on Wednesday launched its mid-sized sedan Rapid in India.
A part of auto conglomerate Volkswagen , the company's wholly-owned subsidiary Skoda AutoIndia expects the Rapid to become its best-selling car in the country, surpassing compact car Fabia's numbers.
"India is a very important market for us. There was a gap between our compact car Fabia and the sedan Laura. To fill that gap, we have launched the Rapid in the C segment," Skoda Auto India Marketing Head Tarun Jha said.
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The car to be available in both petrol and diesel variants will be powered by 1.6 litre engine. It is based on group firm VW's Vento platform.
Talking about sales expectation, Skoda Auto India Associate Director (Sales and aftersales) Ashutosh Dixit said: "We are targeting to sell more than 2,000 cars every month.
The C segment is likely to grow at above 5 per cent this year."
Skoda expects more demand for the diesel variant as there is huge difference in fuel price with petrol.
While the petrol variant of the Rapid will be available between Rs 6.75 lakh and Rs 8.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the diesel model is priced at Rs 7.95 lakh to Rs 9.19 lakh (ex- showroom Delhi).
The company had earlier said that it may start exporting cars manufactured in India to global markets in future, starting with its new Rapid.
"This car is specifically designed for India and the launch will be the global launch for the car. At a later stage, it may be introduced in different markets across the world," Jha had said.
He stated that Skoda may export the Rapid to some neighbouring countries later. The company currently does not export any of its models from India.
Talking about sales, Jha said: "It may become the best-selling car for us in India. It may be a game changer for us." Skoda's current best-selling car is Fabia with about 1,200-1,500 units every month.
The petrol variant of Rapid is pitched against the Honda City, while it will be Hyundai for the diesel variant.
The company is also increasing its dealership network to meet the possible increased demand of the Rapid.
"Currently we have 82 dealerships and it will be increased to about 100 by the end of this year. Next year, we will add another 20 outlets," Jha said.
The company will target mainly Tier-II and III cities for expansion of its dealership network, he added.