Petr Janeba to succeed Petr Solc as Skoda India brand director

Petr Janeba, Skoda Auto India

Skoda Auto Volkswagen India, the Indian subsidiary of Europe’s largest carmaker VW Group, has announced an appointment of Petr Janeba as the new brand director for the Skoda brand, our sister publication Autocar Professional exclusively reports.

Petr Janeba will take charge from Petr Solc, who will complete a 16 months stint at the company in December after having taken charge in September 2022.

Janeba, currently the Head of International Sales Management at Skoda Auto, will take over the role as brand director of the Skoda Division at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd. on January 1, 2024. Solc will move on from the position on December 31, 2023, and go on to assume a global role, which is not yet been shared by the company.

 Skoda Auto Volkswagen India confirmed the development and said, “Petr Solc, brand director of the Skoda Division at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd., will end his position on December 31, 2023. We would like to thank him for his work and efforts and wish him all the success. The VW Group led by Skoda Auto in India is committed to the Indian market and we will move ahead with our growth strategy in India. 

Solc had a tough task of sustaining the growth momentum for the Skoda brand, which had posted its highest-ever sales in the calendar year 2022, at over 53,000 units. This made India the third biggest market for the global operation, after its home base in the Czech Republic and Germany. So far in this calendar year, Skoda Auto has posted sales of about 40,000 units – with the festive season out of the way it will be a tough task for the brand to end on a positive note.

 During his short 16-month stint, Solc faced an uphill climb, sustaining the momentum in the face of slowing growth. Apart from consolidating its performance, during the year, the company took a critical call on building the brand around safety by releasing the GNCAP rating for its SUVs and sedan – which helped coin Skoda’s vehicles as the safest in the Indian market.

 While the company did expand its network footprint during the year, growth has been hard to come by due to intense activity in the fast growing SUV space, and limited penchant of people choosing sedans. The unavailability of models at the top end – i.e. Superb and Octavia – did have an impact on brand imagery, even as it built a decent equity in the mainstream market. 

Solc is understood to have offered critical inputs on the electrification roadmap and on the small SUV for India, which are going to be critical next strategic steps for the brand here. His successor, Janeba, will have to build on that.

Also see:

Skoda Slavia long term review, 14,500km report

Skoda Kushaq, Slavia Elegance Editions launched

All-new Skoda Superb makes global debut


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