Interview with Mr. Gaurang Kunkoleinkar Sales Manager Skoda Auto
By Hercules Rodrigues
The automobile industry has been facing though times however most dealers are getting back to what was challenging times. We speak to Mr Gaurang Kunkoleinkar, Sales Manager of Priority Automobiles Skoda Auto in Goa.
Mr. Gaurang Kunkoleinkar ( Sales Manager, Priority Automobiles Skoda Auto Goa)
AG – Being a luxury car brand, how is the performance of the dealership
GK – Our dealership has been awarded number 3 position in the top 10 dealers across India, for sales to after-sales performance. We have received an award in March 2018 for our performance in 2017. Speaking of market shares we have been growing across Goa.
AG – How much has Skoda improved with respect to after sales and service
GK – Skoda after sales and service has improved by a huge margin, with respect to sales and after-sales. High end cars like the Octavia, Superb, and Kodiaq have been improved. The waiting period has dropped considerably due to increased production. All Skoda models have optional maintenance packages for 4 years upto 60,000 kms. These optional packages also add 4 years standard warranty and Road side assistance.
AG – How are Skoda’s model range performing in India
GK – Our model range have been performing excellently. The Octavia and Superb, Kodiaq and Rapid are evoking a lot of interest. We are confident of 10% market share inspite of new launches like Yaris, Verna and City.
We have a market share of 72.7% in Octavia as compared to Elantra which is 22.7%, Corolla Altis 4.5%, Volkswagen Jetta 0%. 50% in superb sedan whereas Volkswagen Passat is 25% and Camry is 25%.10%.
In Rapid Sedan as compared to Volkswagen Vento 3%, Honda City 18.8%, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz 26.5%, Hyundai Verna 34%, Toyota Yaris 2.5%, Nissan Sunny 1.1% and Toyota Etios 4.1% and 27.3%. For Kodiaq SUV has 30% market share despite being launched in November 2017.
(Data is for last 4 months from January to April).
AG – Any model standing out compared to the overall Skoda model line-up?
GK – We have been outstanding with the Octavia sedan ever since its launch with features such as Auto Park assists with 360 degree sensors, ambient lighting and 7 speed DSG gearbox.
AG – What are your views of going Electric over combustion engines?
GK – Skoda should be ready with electric cars by 2020.
AG – What are Group Priority’s plans for expansion in the future?
GK – As part of our expansion plans we will shortly be coming up with a sales outlet in South Goa. This will enable us to cater to customers from Margao and surrounding areas.
AG – Going by the spate of rising differences between petrol and diesel fuels, which fuel is trending among the customers?
GK – Petrol may have been choice of the Goan people however the trend has changed and more customers are preferring diesel power owing to the DSG gearbox. This is seen especially in Rapid sedan which offers best in class ride quality and good performance.
AG – Does premium pricing lead to decline in sales
GK – Most of the time yes, but it has been the other way round for Skoda and especially for the Octavia, Superb and Kodiaq where customers prefer expensive cars for good build quality.
AG – When can we expect the Margao Skoda showroom to open?
GK – Work is currently on. As to be in time for the festive season we are targeting the 1st week of July to open the Margao Skoda showroom.
AG – Does Skoda have any plans to relaunch the Fabia hatchback in India anytime soon?
GK – No plans at the moment. However we can expect a small car to arrive by 2020 which could be roughly the same size as the Fabia hatchback.
AG – When will Karoq come to India?
GK – The Karoq SUV should be in the Indian market by end of 2018. We are expecting to the SUV to launch in the price bracket of 25 lakhs.