Skoda Naming Strategy In India Confusing

Faisal Ali Khan
by Faisal Ali Khan
skoda naming strategy in india confusing

Skoda is one of the oldest European car manufacturers in India, having launched its first product, the first generation Octavia, way back in 2001. Volkswagen, which owns Skoda, only entered India in 2007. Skoda launched the second generation Octavia globally in 2004. However, the Czech company did not want to discontinue the old Octavia in the Indian market. Thus the second generation Octavia was re-badged as the Laura, while the first gen model continued to sell, till there were no takers in 2010. It is getting worse.

Skoda will officially unveil the third generation Octavia (based on the VW MQB platform) next week. Skoda will bring the new Octavia to India in May 2013, badged as the Octavia, enabling them to sell both second and third generation models side by side. The Laura will continue to sell for sometime, after which it will be replaced by the Rapid sold in the European markets. Now why isn’t Skoda naming the Rapid a Rapid in India?

Simply because Skoda already sells the Rapid in India, which is not the same as the European Rapid. The Indian Rapid is a re-badged and slightly modified version of the Volkswagen Vento (Polo sedan). You follow?

In today’s day and age, when car makers keep global and domestic products the same on every front, why is Skoda confusing everyone with their naming strategy in India?

Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of, a website covering the automobile industry of India.

Join the conversation
  • Onus Onus on Dec 04, 2012

    This seems like classic vw tactics. I don't understand how it can be cheaper to make new and old models at the same time. The fact that the old models development costs have long since been payed off is a plus. I suppose the benefit is that the cars can be sold for cheap.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Dec 04, 2012

    Is there some huge price differentiation to make buying the old model worth it? Or are Indians just nostalgic for models they've known for a while?

  • Elpanda Elpanda on Dec 05, 2012

    You think that's bad? VW sells 5 different "compact" sedans in China: Jetta, Bora, Sagitar, Lavida and New Lavida They also sell 6 different "full size" sedans: CC, New Magotan, Santana Visa, New Passat, Passat XinLingYu and Phaeton. All of them are basically versions of the same cars from different periods of time, that they never stopped making and actually still update (the Jetta for instance received new headlights and stuff not too long ago). Almost all manufacturers do the same here, Ford will still produce the old Focus when the new one is released, Hyundai sells 3 versions of the Elantra, Peugeot still sells the 206 as a Citroen C2, etc.

    • Faisal Ali Khan Faisal Ali Khan on Dec 06, 2012

      Thanks Elpanda for the insight. Even Hyundai and Ford are doing something similar. The last gen Fiesta has been renamed Classic, the old Accent sells as the Accent in India and the new Accent is called Verna. The old Alto sells as the Alto, new Alto is re-badged as A-Star.

  • Thinx Thinx on Dec 07, 2012

    Isn't "Laura" the Indian word for penis? Did they really call their car that???