Skoda Auto on Monday launched its much-awaited premium sports utility vehicle (SUV) Yeti, promising best-in-class mileage and good value-for-money. The Volkswagen Group company is planning to launch a new entry-level sedan in 2011 to expand its portfolio, besides expanding its dealership network.

Equipped with superior safety and luxury features, the SUV will be available in two variants — Ambiente, priced at Rs.15.40-lakh, and Elegance at Rs.16.62-lakh (both prices ex-showroom Delhi). Yeti is powered by a 2-litre TDI CR diesel engine delivering 140 bhp of power and mileage of 17.67 km a litre.

“Yeti will create a new SUV segment between the existing premium and low-cost offers. This unique proposition together with an unrivalled price point gives us the confidence that Yeti would be one of the best-sellers,” Skoda Auto India Board Member and Director (Sales and Marketing) Thomas Kuehl told journalists here.

Informing that the company had already received over 100 pre-sales booking of Yeti, Mr. Kuehl said the SUV would be imported as completely knocked down (CKD) unit from the company's plants in Europe.

“We hope to sell around 500 units of Yeti a month. Next year, we plan to introduce Yeti with smaller diesel engine besides its petrol version at lower price points…it would help us increase our sales,” he added.

Referring to company's future plans, Mr. Kuehl said Skoda India planned to launch a new entry-level sedan next year, while it would develop a small car for India with inputs from Maruti Suzuki, which would be introduced in 2012.

Notably, recently the Volkswagen Group bought 19.9 per cent stake in Japan's Suzuki Motor Corporation, Maruti Suzuki's parent company.

Stating that Skoda Auto had received tremendous response to its recently launched refurbished Fabia car, Mr. Kuehl said its sales had jumped to around 2,500 units a month from 800 units. “We will sell around 20,000 cars this year, while in 2011 we hope to double this number. We also plan to increase our dealerships network from 75 to 120 the end of next year,” he added.

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