Expect the change to take effect from June 1, 2022
The ongoing semiconductor shortage has forced many automakers to make drastic changes to the features and equipment on their models, across trims. Infotainment systems and ADAS could be among the worst-hit, globally. However, it could be the infotainment units that would suffer the most in India, as the latter isn’t that common yet. Škoda is among the latest to take hits on the touch screen.
Skoda Kushaq and Slavia, essentially products of VW Group’s Project India 2.0, are in great acceptance here. They’re also known for offering decent kit levels. Currently, both the Slavia and Kushaq come with 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment units with touch-based controls, on higher variants. Going by the manufacturer’s newest confession, these screens would be replaced with smaller 8-inch units, with physical knobs for volume control, probably from dispatches beginning June 1, 2022. The change would affect the Ambition and Style variants.
The new 8-inch unit sourced from Panasonic would come in these. The recently launched Skoda Kushaq Monte Carlo would continue to feature the 10.1-inch unit. Also to be noted is that the smaller screen would miss out on some features. Wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto will now go missing. There would be no Skoda Play app connectivity either.
This is the second recent instance of Skoda India making sudden changes to the feature/ equipment lists of its models, owing to the semiconductor crisis. Kushaq’s Active Peace and Ambition Classic variants had previously lost features like the automatic climate control panels and touchscreens. These limited-run trims, however, minimized the possible hindrances to timely deliveries. Skoda confirms that some of these equipment could be added back as and when the shortage eases, against charges. But hey, upgrading to bigger touchscreens would hardly be possible, thus no hope there!
Even while they host different body styles, both Slavia and Kushaq offer a choice of two lovable powertrains. They can be had with a 1.0L TSI, and 1.5L TSI turbocharged petrol engines and with manual and automatic transmissions. Slavia and Kushaq are both underpinned by the same, newly-developed MQB A0-IN platform, which has high degrees of localization gone into it.
The Road Ahead
We don’t know yet if screen downsizing would be done on the VW cousins- Taigun and Virtus too. These are essentially Volkswagen versions of the Kushaq and Slavia, sharing the same mechanicals and feature lists as these. Volkswagen sources have not revealed whether these would also get rejigs in their infotainment units or not.