Skoda has been bleeding in India despite their presence for quite some time now. Its market share is miserable at less than 1 percent and it is ahead of just Fiat and Hindustan Motors-Mitsubishi.
However, they are trying to resurrect their brand as well as the offerings to gain some traction. Last month Skoda’s Indian MD has confirmed that the company will be bringing the Fabia hatchback back and it will make a comeback with the Next-Gen model. Skoda seems to have realized that it is very difficult for a car manufacturer to prosper in India without having a mass market B+ segment hatch.
The third generation Fabia is scheduled to have its global unveiling later this year at the Paris Motor Show in October and in the latest update, it gets cleared that Skoda has started testing it in the open. A camouflaged mule of the new Fabia was recently caught testing at the Nürburgring track by AutoEvolution and it carries the genes of Skoda’s new design philosophy.
The butterfly grille, first seen on the new Octavia in India is the first prominent change we notice. Central Europe is known for its rock solid castles and uncomplicatedness in everything. Fabia justifies its origins perfectly. The build quality is expected to be solid and the design cues are simple yet attention grabbing.
Against the awkward looks of the older Fabia, the next-gen gains much sharper looks and appears more streamlined. Skoda will market the new Fabia as a more affordable and practical car and yet not lose the premium branding it enjoys in India. The miniature rear spoiler and slight bulge in the rear tailgate cuts the monotonousness of the rear. Hopefully the production version will have more subtle lines on the rear.
According to Autoevolution, the car, for some reason does not use the MQB platform but uses a modified PQ24 platform (also called the AO platform). All the Fabias have been based on the same AO family. In India, Skoda is expected to launch this new Fabia sometime next year with the new 1.5L diesel engine that the new Polo facelift will receive very soon.