The new Skoda Karoq will initially take the CBU route and, then, as per the demand, the company will look into the possibility of assembling it here in India.
Skoda has confirmed that the Karoq will make its debut in India in mid-2020. Despite the rumours suggesting that this new SUV will be assembled at the Aurangabad plant, the Karoq will be a full import and later, based on demand, the Czech automobile manufacturer will decide whether to assemble it here or not. Skoda India has also confirmed that India will receive the European spec Karoq and not the Chinese one, as the latter's wheelbase is 50mm longer.
Skoda Auto India, under its India 2.0 project, continues to be committed to heavily localise its new vehicles that come under this umbrella. So the question arises, why have they gone take the CBU route for the Karoq? As per the new import norms introduced by the government, a manufacturer is allowed to import 2,500 units of vehicles without any homologation. This gives Skoda an opportunity to introduce the new compact SUV into the Indian market without any manufacturing or assembling investment and, at the same time, understand the needs and requirements of SUVs buyers.
Even though the Karoq replaces the Yeti, the new SUV is bigger and a lot more premium. Based on Volkswagen’s MQB platform like the Kodiaq, Octavia and Superb, globally the Karoq is available in four engine options. The petrol version comes with a 3-cylinder 114bhp 1-litre turbocharged unit or a 4-cylinder 148bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged motor. Coming to the diesel options, there is a 114bhp 1.6-litre engine and a 2-litre motor, which is available in two trims – 148bhp and 188bhp. The bigger diesel engine also offers a 4x4 option. All four powerplants are available with a six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed DSG automatic.