In a recent conversation with CarDekho, Gurpratap Boparai, head of VW Group in India, confirmed that future VW and Skoda cars will not be the re-badged versions of each other. At present, badge engineering can be seen in the Vento-Rapid duo, with the side and rear sections of both cars looking quite similar.
Talking about upcoming products and badge engineering for VW-Skoda, Boparai said, “There’s not going to be the level of badge engineering that we have seen today, the products will be far more differentiated. We’ll be in the same segments but with products that look significantly different. There is always a fine line between too much of differentiation and commonality that you need to walk. And I think we have achieved a good balance where we have a lot of commonality, but the products look significantly different.”
Although Boparai has not yet clarified what exactly will differentiate VW and Skoda’s cars that compete in the same segments, we expect these cars to not resemble each other from any angle. We are, however, going to see cars from both the brands in the same segments that’ll be underpinned by the MQB A0-IN platform.
While both manufacturers’ next-gen products for India are still a few years away, they have already started working on making their cars look different globally. Compare the exterior design of the upcoming compact SUVs of both the carmakers, the T-Cross and the Vision X Concept, and you’ll realise that while the VW is boxy and squarish, like the Tiguan, the Skoda features a bloated design, like the Kodiaq and the Karoq.
Sit inside the current Rapid and Vento in India, and you’ll be able to find a lot of commonality as far as design is concerned. However, if we compare the interior design of sixth-gen Polo and T-Cross (both products on MQB A0 Platform) with the Scala (MQB A0-based Skoda), they look very different. Where the Polo’s cabin looks vibrant and features an infotainment system embedded in the dashboard, the Scala’s cabin looks subtle and gets a free-standing infotainment screen.
Where VW and Skoda are making changes on the product front, we expect the two brands to carry forward their pricing strategies as is. Which means even future VW cars are expected to be priced at a slight premium over similar offerings from Skoda. Currently, where the Skoda Superb is priced from Rs 27.49 lakh and 32.99 lakh, the VW Passat is priced from Rs 29.99 lakh to Rs 32.99 lakh (All prices, ex-showroom pan-India).