The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Skoda set to hit Superb form

New Delhi, July 8: The Indian unit of Czech-based Skoda Auto today said it has applied to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) for “type-approval” of its luxury car Superb to be imported as a fully built unit.

Carmakers require “type-approvals” from ARAI, a government appointed agency, as per the Motor Vehicles Act and Central Motor Vehicle rules before introducing a new model in the country.

“We are awaiting clearance from the ARAI to launch the Superb,” said an official of Skoda India, adding the firm expects the process to be completed by October-November.

He said the Superb, priced between Rs 23-25 lakh, would be powered by a 2.8-litre, V6 petrol and compete with the German-engineered Mercedes E-class model.

Skoda India, which currently manufactures Octavia sedans at an assembling-plant located in Siemens quarters in Aurangabad, also said its new plant at Shendre will commence production from January, 2004.

The plant at Shendre, built on a 3,000 sq mt area, is located near this industrial-city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra. It will assemble completely knocked-down units imported from its parent, a unit of the Volkswagen group, the world’s fourth largest car maker.

“A batch of 200 completely knocked-down units of Octavia has already arrived,” said the official. “These would be assembled at our new facility.”

According to auto analysts , the Czech-based car maker should boost its presence in the volume segment instead of launching a car in the luxury segment since demand is few while there is increasing competition in the lower-end luxury segment.

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