It has become quite popular in the auto industry to offer sedan versions of their hatchback models. This first became a trend with Volkswagen’s Vento and Polo, and Maruti Suzuki’s Swift Dzire. According to recent reports, Volkswagen who owns the Skoda brand is planning to launch their Fabia hatchback in a sedan version.
They also plan on increasing their production rate to 1.3 lakh per annum at their Chakan plant near Pune. According to recent reports, the company officials said that the production of their Fabia sedan will begin soon at their Chakan plant. By the time production of this model commences, they will also increase the production to 500 units per day from the current 450 units.
The sedan version of the Fabia could reportedly be named Rapid. As we had already mentioned a while ago, Skoda was launching the rapid as a challenger to the Vento. The Rapid could likely share the same platform as the Vento, just like the Fabia shares the Polo platform.
The Rapid is expected to launch by Diwali, this year, however the date has not been confirmed. Apart from competing with the Vento, this sedan will also compete with Maruti Suxuki SX4 and Honda City. The Rapid could also be available in both diesel and petrol variants.
Currently, the VW Group has a production capacity of 1.1 lakh units per annum, with 200 units of Volkswagen Polo, 70 units of Skoda Fabia and a projected 180 units of Vento manufactured every day. The company has an investment of Rs. 3,800 crore at their plant which is spread over 600 acres.
Last year, the company had faced a lot of pressure as the demand for Vento and Polo models outdid supply, leading to a waiting period of six months at the most. The head of communications for Volkswagen India, Alexander Skibbe, said that they plan to have a production capacity of at least 1.3 lakh units by the year end. As part of their ramp-up plan, they began a third shift just few weeks ago.
With the Japanese auto companies cutting down production of their models by almost 50%, the demand for cars from other companies is expected to rise considerably. Most companies have begun increasing their production output to keep up with this projected demand.