Skoda starts production of the Rapid sedan in India

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 11, 2011

Skoda has started the production of its new compact sedan, the Rapid, in India. Positioned between the Fabia and Octabia, this car will be offered in India by the end of 2011. Winfried Vahland, the Chairman of the Board of SKODA, said that India is the first market to get the new Rapid, proving just how significant the country is for Skoda.

He said that the company is aiming to expand its activities to outside of Europe. He explained that the market in India has a pivotal role because it has awesome potential, comparable to China and Russia.

He added that for these emerging markets, the new Rapid is the “right car at the right time.” The sedan can seat five passengers and its boot can hold 500 liters. Skoda is promoting it as a car for the entire family, with sufficient room for long drives but with compact dimensions for city living.

Skoda will offer this car with the full engine lineup when it gets to Europe but in India, it will only be offered with one petrol and one diesel engine.

These will each be available with either manual or automatic gearboxes. When equipped with the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter, it delivers 103 hp. This is similar to the output of the 1.6 TDI with common rail technology.

Škoda remains to be aggressive in introducing new models to the market. This time, it unveiled the Škoda Rapid, its latest compact saloon, only a few months after the Škoda Citigo subcompact model was revealed. The newest release is expected to have an important role under the brand’s growth strategy for 2018 with the Rapid scheduled to be released to the European markets by the autumn of 2012.

According to Škoda CEO Winfried Vahland, occupants inside the Rapid will have no worries when it comes to space as this model manages to set new standards when it comes to roominess. Though it appears to be a compact vehicle with length at 4.48 meters, width at 1.71 meters, and height of 1.46 meters, it can accommodate a maximum of 5 people, all sitting comfortably. Head room and knee room are also the best with boot capacity at 550 liters.

Indeed, aside from the roominess, it comes with an excellent design and amazing price. It is powered with efficient engines with a wide range of comprehensive safety features inside. CEO Vahland continued by saying that the Rapid is able to establish new standards in the compact saloon class as it is elegant, roomy, and comes with a number of clever solution as well as high economy and advanced technology.

It is indeed a car for the family, he added, and is an affordable one at that. The best way to describe the new Rapid is that it delivers comfort when travelling, comes with an environment-friendly package, and priced reasonably, truly the right car at just the right time, he elaborated. With the new Rapid, said CEO Vahland, the company is saying that it is on the next stage of its model offensive.

This new model will have a key role in the company’s worldwide global strategy and it will give them that needed momentum especially on international markets, he added.

The new Rapid will be manufactured at the company’s main facility located at Mladá Boleslav in the Czech Republic. The company will also be making a version specific for the Chinese market and manufacturing is scheduled to start in 2013 and then sold after.

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