It has emerged that Skoda India cars are slated to become cheaper in near future. It may be noted that Skoda group is owned by the German biggie Volkswagen and the latter is now considering repositioning the Czechoslovakian brand in Indian car market. It may also be noted that internationally, Skoda has been a budget brand of Volkswagen. In India though, Skoda benefitted from first mover theory and established itself as the makers of upmarket and prestigious cars. Volkswagen, which entered our country quite late, positioned itself a little higher than the Czech brand but the difference in comparable products is not very substantial.
This is looking set to change as Skoda cars might soon see a price cut to widen the gap between positioning of the vehicles from these two brands. Skoda India is already planning to bank heavily on localization of components for Fabia, Rapid and Laura and this is how the carmaker aims to make its products more wallet-friendly.
Even though VW has been here since some time now, it has, arguably, failed to establish itself as a more popular brand than Skoda. Most of Skoda cars have VW underpinnings and borrow a considerable bit from the parent group. The Rapid is essentially a rebadged version of the VW Vento and offers same performance and almost similar equipment levels at a considerably lower price. Skoda India also enjoys a wider after sales network. All this has led to Skoda India attracting potential VW customers and hence, enjoying an equal, if not better, brand image.
Now, what remains to be seen is if VW India will finally emerge with a better brand image and as maker of more premium cars after Skoda products get cheaper due to more localization.