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Skoda Plan New Models

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Skoda Plan New Models

Geoff Maxted
DriveWrite
January 11, 2014


Skoda Skoda
It’s incredible to think that just a few years ago the name of Skoda was a byword for automotive awfulness. Things change quickly in the car industry and now the brand is flying high. Not a company to rest on its laurels, Skoda plans to offer a new or revised model every six months on average until 2016 to contribute to its parent company Volkswagen Group's target of dominating global auto-industry sales.

Full-year sales at the Czech company fell by two percent to 920,800 cars, Skoda said yesterday as the business was hit by a shrinking European market (like everybody else) and a production switch to new models in the first half. Deliveries in December rose six percent from a year earlier to 70,000 vehicles, boosted by a 52 percent surge for the Octavia line-up, Skoda said. That marked the fourth consecutive monthly gain for the brand.

With sales picking up in the second half, Skoda said earlier this week it was on target to sell 1 million cars for the first time in 2014, a step towards its goal to reach annual sales of 1.5 million by 2018. Skoda CEO Winfried Vahland said, "Our attractive model range, good flow of incoming orders and increasingly bright future on the European automotive markets make us confident for 2014".

Skoda is pushing into China (which, as for many other manufacturers, has become the brand's biggest national market) and other developing economies to make up for a drop in industry-wide sales in Europe. The company's growth plan is part of Volkswagen's target of overtaking General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's biggest carmaker by 2018.

New versions of the Octavia, which started entering showrooms in November 2012, helped Skoda's full-year western European sales rise 3%. Deliveries increased 3% in Germany, the region's biggest car market, and surged by an astonishing twenty-four percent in the UK. Sales fell by 9 points in eastern Europe last year, with a 12% decline in Russia, and also dropping four percent in China, Skoda said.

Unquestionably, Skoda make some great, good value cars these days; an example of which is shown in the image. The vRS is a grown up sports saloon that DriveWrite tested here and found to be excellent across the board. It will be interesting to see just how many new models there will be in their plans.



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