Firm wants to double its sales to 1.5m units by 2020 - but insists it isn't competing with VW

Skoda is planning to more than double its sales to "at least" 1.5 million units by 2020, according to company boss Winfried Vahland.

Speaking at an industry conference in Berlin, Vahland described the Czech car maker as being "ready for a growth spurt".

Read more on Skoda's record sales so far in 2010

The expansion plan will aim to dramatic increase sales in the company’s home market, as well as in China, India and Russia. Skoda sold over 684,000 cars last year, so exports will make up in half of sales in 2020, according to industry estimates.

Controversy flared up early this month, when senior sources at Skoda’s parent company VW, suggested that in future the brand would be repositioned to prevent it competing with VW itself.

Some analysts claim that Skoda’s previous boss, Reinhard Young, lost his position because Skoda models such as the Superb and Yeti were both better conceived and cheaper than their VW stablemates.

Read Autocar's road test of the current Superb

Vahland, however, strongly denies that Skoda is cannibalising VW sales, but is competing with Kia and Hyundai. However he says that future Skoda models will be value for money family vehicles that are functional and practical.

Skoda has benefited from considerable autonomy in recent years, allowing company engineers to mix and match VW technology and platforms to a much greater extent than other group brands.

See all the latest Skoda reviews, news and video

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13

4 November 2010

Huge amounts of internal politics between the various factions within the VAG group. The current Superb should do really well in China as its essentially a stretched Passat (as was the previous model, which if I remember correctly was essentially a re-badged Chinese model Passat) and I'm sure this could lead to rapid market expansion. However with the current discouraging news from VW regarding their plans for Skoda and the appointment of a Skoda CEO more interested in the wider VW politics, instead of focussing on getting the best product Skoda can make in their own rights, it may get increasingly tricky for Skoda to compete.

Ten years ago, the Korean firms such as Kia and their sister company Hyundai were producing far inferior products than they are now. Surely Skoda should be pushing to create innovative and high quality products, rather than having to cheapen their designs to please VW group.

On a personal level, I ended up going for a Clio diesel rather than a Fabia diesel due in a large part to the cheap feeling fixtures and poor sound proofing in the Fabia. I had previous experience with both brands and models and I can easily say I preferred the Skoda customer experience, however compared to the first edition Fabia, the current Fabia felt built to a (low) cost. The dealer stated that VW were not allowing Skoda to use, for instance, slush mouldings on the dashboard of the Fabia for concerns on an adverse impact on Polo sales. In my case, VW group lost out on a sale.

4 November 2010

should be easy to get a taxi from now on then

4 November 2010

http://www.volkswagenag.com/vwag/vwcorp/info_center/en/themes/2010/11/_K...

I am copying this from the VW group press release, quoting on the statements made from the new chairman of the board of Škoda Auto, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland: [quote]“Thus, Škoda has succeeded to establish themselves as an entry brand on the new markets as well,” Mr. Vahland emphasized.[/quote] [quote]“The consistent internationalization of the Škoda brand is part of the corporate strategy “Škoda RS”, Mr. Vahland continued. “With this, we also want to continue to reinforce our function as the entry brand to the Volkswagen Group.”[/quote] and this one from the Autocar article [quote Autocar]Controversy flared up early this month, when senior sources at Skoda’s parent company VW, suggested that in future the brand would be repositioned to prevent it competing with VW itself. Some analysts claim that Skoda’s previous boss, Reinhard Young, lost his position because Skoda models such as the Superb and Yeti were both better conceived and cheaper than their VW stablemates. Read Autocar's road test of the current Superb Vahland, however, strongly denies that Skoda is cannibalising VW sales, but is competing with Kia and Hyundai. However he says that future Skoda models will be value for money family vehicles that are functional and practical.[/quote] Deja vu.

What they did with SEAT a decade ago when they believed SEAT models like the Leon Mk1 and the Toledo Mk2 were cannibalising the sales of their VW stablemates i.e. the Golf Mk4 and the Bora.

It is a very difficult thing what the VW officials plan to do with their brands, from one part they want to make as much as they can get from their subsidiaries and from the other part they need to undermine them.

4 November 2010

It's a shame that VW are appearing so "anti-Skoda". They don't seem to mind the likes of Renault, Ford, Vauxhall competing with them, but as soon as it's someone from under their own roof, things change. Peugeot and Citroen come under the same brand, yet they don't seem to mind competing with each other. VW have obviously realised that the Skoda equivalents are quirkier, cheaper, just-as-well-made and, in most cases, more spacious. Just overall better value. Skoda are doing so well at the moment, it would be a shame for VW to rain on their parade. It's not as if VW aren't doing well enough anyway!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

4 November 2010

I agree that it's a difficult decision for them. I owned a MK1 Leon until whitevanman wrote it off for me. The MK2 is nowhere as good a car ( in my opinion ) So I ended up with an Octavia. It's a good car. spacious, comfortable,well put together. ( 2 VW mechanics that have worked on it for me ( one was the MOT tester, the other replaced the cam belt both remarked that they thought it was better put together than current VW's ) For some reason I have never considered buying a VW. I don't see them as good value. So if they do prevent Skoda from continuing to expand by taking their products further upmarket then I think they will lose out.

4 November 2010

[quote Mini1] Peugeot and Citroen come under the same brand, yet they don't seem to mind competing with each other.[/quote]

This is a good point, and Hyundai and Kia's model ranges are broadly parallel. And surely the Phaeton and Touareg are encroaching on some Audi models?

It would be a shame if Skoda suffer because of VW's attitude.

4 November 2010

I seriously doubt that VW group plans to sequester Skoda over fears of damaging the reputation and sales of other brands in the group.

More likely that 20 year project to turn Skoda in to a credible, desirable brand is complete and it's time to re-establish it as a cost competitive, no-nonsense brand, now that all the jokes are a distant memory.

I very doubt they will become unreliable, poorly made eyesores again, but they will be much cheaper.

4 November 2010

Skoda's claim that they can double sales and yet not tread on their parents toes does not seem very likely. They will not be allowed to get anywhere near VW and that can only be to Skoda's loss. It also continues to pile even more problems on SEAT.

4 November 2010

Skoda are doing very nicely. There is a note gone up on our fleet site, where staff can pretty much choose from most makes and models - "due to popularity, the lead times on the Superb now extend beyond 16 weeks"

Looking at it, its really well specced even the most basic ones, although you have to avoid the 140bhp diesels as they are old school engines. The 170bhp version have the latest VAG engines though. Prices are definitely more in the Kia range. No wonder VW are squirming!

Having tried both in detail, I also think the Yeti is a better Golf than the.. erm.. Golf.

4 November 2010

[quote Autocar]Skoda is planning to more than double its sales to "at least" 1.5 million units by 2020, according to company boss Winfried Vahland.

Speaking at an industry conference in Berlin, Vahland described the Czech car maker as being "ready for a growth spurt".

Read more on Skoda's record sales so far in 2010

The expansion plan will aim to dramatic increase sales in the company’s home market, as well as i...Read the full article[/quote]

Skoda is noticable in not mentioning the disappointing take up on the New Fabia vRS, Hence the very expensive advertising campaign only 4 months after it's launch in the UK.Discounted Demo's appearing and increasing daily on Autotrader.

Unfortunately the Autonomy spoken about has not existing in the design of this product ,as it just follows the VW Herd!

Customers could have done a better job of specifying what the punters wanted. The consequence of which would have resulted in flying out of the showrooms-just ask their salesforce who are hugely disappointed!

Autocar, do follow up by research of your own, once you have done you testing and promotional for the motor company.

Cheers,

Vrsfab

 

 

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