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In a bid to dominate the topmost position in the mid-size sedan segment, Skoda Auto has adopted aggressive price strategies for its sedan, Rapid. The car is scheduled for sale from the next week and will be priced at around Rs. 6.8 lacs, Skoda officials said.

The move can be seen as a tool to deter the sales performance of its close rivals. Hyundai Verna, which costs around Rs. 6.99 lacs, Honda City, available at Rs. 7.49 lacs and its sister company Volkswagen’s Vento, with a price tag of Rs. 6.99 lacs are likely to be targeted.

Skoda Auto is a great opportunity to come in the compact segment with its management Fabia compact car to sell only 1,500 units on average each month. However, Thomas Kuehl, Board Member, Sales and Marketing, Skoda Auto in the saloon blow quickly, possibly would surface as a seller of the largest corporations in India. Fast is available in three variants, both diesel and gasoline, including automatic transmission variant of mid-level petrol is the first of its kind, an option that is offered in the segment.

Skoda Auto is yet to get a big break in the compact car segment, with its compact car Fabia managing to sell just 1,500 units on an average each month. However, Thomas Kuehl, tipped off that the Rapid sedan would possibly surface as the company’s highest volume seller in India. It will be available in three variants for both diesel and petrol, including automatic transmission in mid-level petrol variant that is a first-of-its-kind option offered in the segment.

The mid-size sedan segment witnessed a huge growth of 14 per cent with 92,312 cars in April to September 2011 period, against 81,220 cars sold in the previous year. As a result of the untamed petrol prices, the share of diesel cars has moved up to 70 per cent from an earlier 50 per cent.

The mid-size sedan segment encouraged the overall market trend, which declined marginally at 909,283 units between April and September 2011, compared with the year-ago period. Skoda Rapid has more power in store and a bigger 1.6-litre engine, in order to give a tough fight to its competitors. Honda City, on the other hand, is powered by a 1.5-litre engine available only in petrol, while Verna's base diesel and petrol models prove to be under-powered with a 1.4-litre engine

Meanwhile, speculations are rife that Skoda Auto has postponed the launch of a small car, likely to be placed below Fabia, with a price range of Rs. 3 lacs and Rs. 5 lacs. “We will announce at this year’s auto expo the timeline of the (small car) launch,” Kuehl said.

Skoda Rapid

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