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Rediff.com  » Business » VW Pune plant may produce Skoda Fabia

VW Pune plant may produce Skoda Fabia

May 05, 2008 19:21 IST

Skoda Auto is considering shifting the production of the Fabia, its compact hatchback, to parent company Volkswagen's Chakan plant in Pune.

At present, Skoda is manufacturing cars at its Aurangabad plant. The surge in demand has pushed the waiting period for the car to more than 2 months.

Construction work on the VW plant in the MIDC area of Chakan is in full swing and should be completed by end of the first half of the next calender year. Skoda Fabia, the first car, will, however, roll out in the first half of 2009.

Thomas Kuehl, member, board of directors (sales and marketing), SkodaIndia, said, "There is a lot of similarity between the Fabia and the Polo as both models are built on the same platform. We will look to have the Fabia built there."

The newly introduced engine option on the Fabia, having a 1.2 litre petrol engine, will also be shared with VW's Polo hatchback, which will be seen on the roads perhaps in the second half of 2009. VW's plant will have an initial capacity of 110,000 units on a two-shift manufacturing basis.

VW has already made it clear that it will integrate its facilities in India to contain costs and have an uninterrupted supply of auto components.

The Skoda as well as the VW plants are technically designed in such a way that they can produce cars of any of the group companies, including that of Audi's.

In the next few years, all the three companies will collectively manufacture about 15 car models, ranging from the cheapest of the lot - the Volkswagen Up - to Audi's A8 luxury sedan.

The Fabia was officially launched by Skoda in the Auto Expo in January this year. The car was the most expensive hatchback in its segment priced at Rs 500,000 to Rs 768,000. It is available in three engine options - 1.2 and 1.4 litre petrol, 1.4 litre diesel.

Even though the car falls under the mandatory 4,000 mm length to be defined a small car, it violated the engine size norm for the petrol variant as it exceeded 1,200cc in capacity. Last week, the company launched the car with a 1,200cc petrol engine, priced at Rs 486,000 -Rs 580,000.

Swaraj Baggonkar in Mumbai
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