Skoda launches the made-in-India 2012 Rapid Petrol Sedan in Nepal
Skoda has just launched the 2012 Rapid sedan in Nepal, the Himalayan kingdom that shares its border with India. The Indian made Skoda Rapid will be imported into Nepal through the completely built unit route. The car will be available only in petrol engined guise as the Nepali car market doesn’t have the same high demand for diesel engined cars, unlike the Indian car market. The Rapid sedan was launched at the ongoing 2012 NADA Motor Show happening in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The car is priced between 2.99 million to 3.69 million Nepali rupees, which translates to INR 18.68 lakhs to 23 lakhs.
This price is more than double the price at which the Rapid sedan sells in India and understandably so as the Rapid is imported into India through the completely built unit(CBU) route. Importing cars into Nepal through the CBU route results in the imposition of a high import duty, leading to prices of the cars shooting up dramatically. Since Nepal has an almost non-existent car industry, importing cars is the predominant way in which many car makers operate in this tiny Himalayan kingdom. Coming back to the Rapid sedan, the car is sold in Active, Ambition and Elegance trims.
All three variants feature the 1.6 Liter MPI naturally aspirated, four cylinder petrol engine. This engine is good for 105 Bhp-153 Nm and is mated to a five speed manual gearbox. Though Skoda does have a 6 speed automatic gearbox offered on the India-spec Rapid petrol sedan, the slush box is not offered in Nepal for now. The top end model of the Rapid sedan is available with anti-lock braking system, twin airbags, rear AC vents, automatic climate control and other creature comforts. The Elegance variant of the car rides on 15 inch ally wheels and comes with electrically adjustable wing mirrors.
The Rapid is also available with a 1.6 Liter TDI turbo diesel engine pumping out 105 Bhp-250 Nm. The Rapid Diesel is sold in the Indian market and brings in over 80% of the total sales of the car in diesel loving India. The NADA 2012 Motor Show has been seeing a slew of sedan launches, all aimed at the Nepali car market. In the past few days, cars like the Hyundai Verna Fluidic and the Nissan Sunny sedan have been launched in Nepal. The Skoda Rapid is the latest amongst the slew of car launches the Nepali market has seen over the last few days.