Felicia may be assembled in India

Skoda Auto is to enter the Indian car market with a local assembly project, according
to a local newspaper.

The Indian Express said that the Czech Republic car manufacturer has applied
to the government for a licence to import components just before the implementation
of India’s new auto policy.

The new policy, expected to come in force in April, stipulates a minimum foreign
investment of $US250 million over a three year period.

The minimum investment is currently $50 million over a three-year period for
foreign companies retaining a majority shareholding.

The newspaper said that the increase in the required investment may be a factor
behind Skoda’s application for a licence now.

The import licence, worth over Rs 65 million crore ($US14 million), will enable
Skoda to import assembly kits for a single model, either the mid-size Octavia
or the compact Felicia, although a decision on which will be built in India
has yet to be made. Assembly will be in Aurangabad, Maharashtra state.

Skoda has requested import licences for 50,000 car kits worth around $US400
million over a five year period, the newspaper said.