Škoda Auto India banks on digital push to boost sales ahead of its all -new compact SUV launch in early 2025 | Autocar Professional

Ahead of its MQB-A0-IN platform-based compact SUV that will hit the Indian roads in H1 2025, Skoda Auto India has launched a flurry of 360-degree digital activities that saw it achieve landmark online sales and get massive user engagement. This included a naming contest for the new car to directly involve customers and fans in the market. Speaking to Autocar Professional, Petr Janeba, Brand Director, Skoda Auto India said that this kind of user engagement has never taken place for an auto brand in India before.

“The campaign that enabled the involvement and engagement of users, customers, and the fans of Skoda in picking the name for Skoda Auto India’s compact SUV that will hit the roads in 2025 resulted in over 1,50,000 names till date, of which more than 21,000 are unique names,” Janeba said.

These entries, he said, stayed true to Skoda’s tradition of naming all their internal combustion SUVs beginning with a ‘K’ and ending with a ‘Q’ with one or two syllables in between.

The company has an annual brand sales target of 100,000 cars in India by 2026 and expects the new compact SUV to make up more than half of its sales just three months after its launch. Skoda’s Kushaq SUV debuted in India and the world in July 2021 and the Slavia sedan in March 2022.

To mark the occasion of the company’s incorporation in India in December 1999,  the brand also unfurled a series of offers limited to 24 hours on 24 March 2024 exclusively through digital platforms. “The exercise witnessed bookings of 709 cars within the 24-hour period. Furthering the company’s mission to enable a ‘Skoda for everyone’ this innovative initiative is yet another enabler for its customers to connect with brand Skoda and access its fleet of class-leading cars rated 5-star safe for adults and children,” the company said.

Petr, who is four months into his new role as the brand director said that with the ever-changing digital landscape, platforms and mediums, it is imperative to pioneer new ways of enhancing the customer experience and journey.

“Our digital strategies are designed to ensure our products and services reach out to our customers and fans, in a language of their choice,” he said. He added that the recently concluded, first-ever, fully digital 24-hour sale celebrating our 24 years in India resulted in 709 Skoda cars being booked in a single day. “Besides, we have further enhanced our Skodaverse India NFT umbrella with the rollout of the Skoda Gearheads community. With these, we are constantly adapting and evolving to reach out to even more customers to meet their needs and aspirations in this vast and diverse market,” he said.

He said that in the future there could be many more such digital-first initiatives that “Indians seem to be adopting better than the rest of the world.”

The cluster of purely digital initiatives follows the company having its biggest year in 2022 and selling over 1 lakh cars between 2022 and 2023. “The innovations have created their own organic buzz for Skoda’s all-new compact SUV set to make its world debut in India in H1 2025,” he said.

The new SUV will be based on the MQB-A0-IN platform, like the Kushaq SUV and the Slavia sedan. The MQB-A0-IN was specifically developed for India by teams in India and the Czech Republic with an eye on versatility, safety, and dynamics while focusing on localisation, low maintenance costs and a hassle-free ownership experience, the company said.

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