Monday, January 30, 2012
By Manoj Kumawat
Sudhir Rao named managing director of SKODA India
Skoda Auto India will be headed by Sudhir Rao as managing director from March 1. Rao has a tremendous experience in handling several operations related to auto industry and has a strikingly exceptional international exposure that is expected to bring accolades to the company in India. Notably, Skoda India has aggressive strategy for India and has recently launched Skoda Rapid, a made for India car. Besides this Skoda cars in India include several offering in almost every segment.
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ŠKODA AUTO CEO Winfried Vahland has reportedly expressed his delight over appointing Sudhir Rao and has said that the latter’s appointment, as well as a deep knowledge of the Indian auto industry will benefit Skoda in carrying out its operations in India smoothly. Apart from this Vahland also expressed that Rao has a strong sense of the Indian market and he will be able to take Skoda to new heights in India. Interestingly, Skoda India will be adding more cars to its line up in India besides the present Skoda Laura sedan, Skoda Fabia hatchback, Skoda Superb premium sedan, Skoda Yeti SUV and the recently launched Skoda Rapid sedan.
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Rao’s prior assignments include his role as Chief Operating Officer of the India division of an international car brand besides several managerial responsibilities that he has held. Notably, he has also been the CEO of a company that is a leader in producing engines and transmissions. He has a decent international exposure and has worked in the US and Europe in the auto sector and it has helped him know the ins and out of the auto industry.
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As soon as Rao joins he will be focusing on the Skoda’s action plan 2018 following which the Czech auto maker plans to increase its sales across the globe to 1.5 million units per year. Though the target is achievable as in India alone, Skoda car sales registered 50 percent growth and Skoda India sold 30,000 units last year despite of a slowdown in the industry and other factors. Besides others, Skoda India is highly banking on Skoda Rapid sedan that has been specifically designed keeping in mind the needs of the average Indian car buyers. Skoda claims that Skoda Rapid features match to the demands of the car lovers in India. Currently, Skoda Rapid is being produced at the Pune facility and is expected to be a great hit after Skoda Fabia hatchback.