Skoda has had a successful run in India, except for the Superb. That one was perceived as definitely overpriced - Bijoy of BS Motoring thinks so.
What Skoda has for India this year is the Skoda Fabia. The Fabia comes in 3 versions - a hatchback, a sedan and an estate (Combi). So far, Skoda has not decided which is the ideal car it should offer India.
"Both Skoda Fabia and Octavia II are expected to hit the Indian roads around October 2005," the Skoda Auto India Managing Director Mr Imran Hassen, said here at the launch of the turbo version of Skoda Octavia Rider. Different reports have put the launch date at anywhere from mid-2005 to end-2005.
In 2002, BS Motoring test-drove a Fabia sedan, and came away decently impressed.
The Skoda family look is unmistakable in the Fabia. In fact, one may even say that the Skoda look is even moe impressive in a small car - it imparts it an air of
unbreakability. Of course, Skoda calls it the 'safest car'.
The Fabi has won the Car Of The Year awards in six European countries. What car? magazine of UK awarded it the best supermini for the third time in a row. And it had to beat other cars which are no small wonders either - the competition was the VW Polo, Ford Fiesta and the Honda Jazz. The German journal Auto Bild called it the 'King of Compacts'.
The Combi and the hatchback Skoda cars
The Fabia is currently Skoda's largest selling model in the world, with over 250,000 customers for its three variants – the hatchback, sedan and combi.
The car which was driven by BS Motoring was diesel powered. The inline four 1.9 SDI unit, a 1896 CC direct injection diesel, offering 64 bhp at 4000 rpm and 12.8 kgm. The Fabia also has a turbocharged version of the Octavia's 1.9 litre unit on offer.
The company is very keen on the sedan version, instead of going in for the hatchback, if rumours are to be believed. Looking at the success of the Honda City in India, one is tempted to say that the Fabia sedan looks promising here - but at least as far as looks are concerned, the Fabia hatchback is the car that looks more integrated.
However, the reported price of around Rs 8.5 lakh for the Fabia sedan is a dampener - Skoda will not be able to achieve any brilliant success in India if it is not able to match the Honda City's price, we believe.
Meanwhile, allw e have as of now are a few pictures of the Fabia sedan and the hatchback. Take a look at the photos. We say it again, we just love the hatchback car - just look at that smart Skoda face!
BY OUR AUTOMOBILES EDITOR