Skoda India has officially confirmed its plans to launch the Karoq SUV in India. Though a specific launch date hasn’t been revealed, the company claims to be aiming to launch the SUV sometime in mid-2020. The Karoq will likely be placed a slot lower than the company’s flagship Kodiaq SUV in India.
The most surprising element of this announcement is the fact that Skoda will bring the Karoq as a completely built unit (CBU), rather than a locally manufactured model or a completely knocked down (CKD) unit. The CKD route is known to be a lot cheaper than the CBU route, which allows manufacturers to price the models aggressively.
However, according to the Government of India’s recent regulations, automotive manufacturers are allowed to import 2,500 CBU units in the country, without the need to homologate the model internally. This reduces a lot of effort and cost involved to launch a global model in India. As a result, Skoda India has decided to bring a few units of the Karoq SUV in India as CBUs and gauge customer response for the same. If there is significant demand, the manufacturer might decide to locally manufacture / assemble the SUV so as to bring its price down, and further reduce is offering price tag.
The Karoq was globally unveiled last year. It is built on the company’s MQB platform, which also underprins the VW Octavia and Superb. Internationally, the Karoq is offered with petrol as well as diesel engine options. The petrol range includes a 115 hp, 1.0-litre, TSI three-cylinder unit, and a 150 hp, 1.5-litre TSI engine. Meanwhile, the diesel lineup comes with a new 115 hp, 1.6-litre engine, the 150 hp 2.0-litre unit from the Kodiaq, and a range-topping 189 hp, 2.0-litre power plant. The most powerful engine block is offered with a 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox, while all other variants come with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
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