The ŠKODA KUSHAQ: everything you need to know about first production car
The brand-new ŠKODA KUSHAQ is the first production car as part of the INDIA 2.0 project. Under the lead responsibility of ŠKODA AUTO, Volkswagen Group is investing one billion euros in its model campaign on the Indian subcontinent to strengthen the presence of ŠKODA and Volkswagen there for the long term. The ŠKODA KUSHAQ is based on the MQB-A0-IN, a variant of the modular MQB platform specially adapted by ŠKODA for the Indian market, and unites traditional ŠKODA qualities with the requirements of Indian customers. Available with a choice of powerful yet efficient TSI engines and boasting a striking design, modern infotainment systems, high levels of comfort and a plethora of safety features, this brand-new SUV is ideally equipped for a successful start to the group’s model campaign. Orders will be taken from June with the first KUSHAQs to be delivered in July. As part of INDIA 2.0, a total of four new MQB-A0-IN-based ŠKODA and Volkswagen vehicles will be launched – an SUV and a notchback for each brand, all four in the A0 segment. In order to achieve the best possible level of localisation in India, ŠKODA has set up a new MQB production line at its Pune plant. Most of the development is taking place at the new technology centre, also in Pune, which the Czech carmaker opened in January 2019.
Thomas Schäfer, ŠKODA AUTO CEO, said: “Today is a very special day for ŠKODA and Volkswagen. With the world premiere of the ŠKODA KUSHAQ, we are launching our model campaign on the Indian market and are fulfilling the mandate Volkswagen Group tasked us with roughly two and a half years ago when we were asked to assume responsibility for the Indian market. I would like to thank Gurpratap Boparai and his team for what they have achieved so far. We are now focusing on a smooth market launch and the successful start of our new model, while setting the course for the next steps on the Indian subcontinent. I am convinced of the country’s great growth potential. And we will make the most of it for ŠKODA and Volkswagen.”
Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited, stated: “The unveiling of the KUSHAQ marks the beginning of a new era for ŠKODA AUTO and the Volkswagen Group in India. The latest addition to the ŠKODA SUV family puts forth a compelling combination of emotive design, unrivalled performance, superior build quality, exemplary value proposition, outstanding safety, and numerous Simply Clever solutions. The first product designed and developed under the INDIA 2.0 project and based on the MQB A0 IN platform, the ŠKODA KUSHAQ is inspired by the diversity of our vibrant nation yet resonates with the sensibilities of a global audience. With the ŠKODA KUSHAQ, we are poised to tap the burgeoning demand for mid-size SUVs – a segment set to grow multi fold over the next few years in India.”
Local development and local production
ŠKODA AUTO has been responsible for pressing ahead with the INDIA 2.0 project on behalf of Volkswagen Group since June 2018 and has also been orchestrating the activities of the Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini brands in India. Investments in the project total one billion euros, including 275 million euros in research and development of new SUVs and notchback cars. The focus of the project is an all-embracing ŠKODA and Volkswagen model campaign with vehicles tailored to the Indian market’s high-volume segments. Initially, the campaign will see the launch of two SUV models and two notchbacks in the A0 segment. They will all be based on the MQB-A0-IN platform, which has been designed to meet the latest, stricter safety and emission requirements for India. In a second phase, the models manufactured in India will then also be exported to other countries. To achieve the desired localisation level of 95 per cent concerning development and manufacturing in India, ŠKODA has set up a new MQB production line at its Pune plant. Most of the development is carried out at the new technology centre, which is also based in Pune and opened in January 2019. There, with the local staff’s wealth of expertise and flair for Indian preferences, ŠKODA can respond to changing customer needs in a more targeted, more flexible and much more dynamic manner. A total of 250 engineers will be working in the technology centre in Pune; more than 200 specialists have already been hired. ŠKODA and Volkswagen intend to strengthen their presence on the Indian market for the long term and aim to achieve a combined market share of five per cent by 2025.
The name of the mid-size SUV is derived from Sanskrit, an Indian language that is thousands of years old. In the ‘language of the gods’, still used today, the word ‘kushak’ denotes a king or an emperor. This complements the powerful appearance of the new ŠKODA KUSHAQ to perfection. The spelling with the letter ‘K’ at the beginning and the letter ‘Q’ at the end is in keeping with the distinctive nomenclature for the internationally successful ŠKODA KODIAQ, KAROQ and KAMIQ SUV models.