Skoda’s production version of the Vision X compact SUV, as well as the forthcoming electric Vision E SUV, electric Citigo city car and Superb plug-in hybrid, will be among 19 new models or variants launched by the Czech car maker in the next two years.
At its annual financial conference, Skoda announced a 34.6% growth in operating profits to €1.6bn (£1.4bn), from a sales revenue increase of 20.8% or €16.6bn (£14.44bn), which the firm attributed to the “successful implementation of our SUV strategy and our improved cost positions”.
Skoda’s sales revenue has doubled since 2008, when it made €8bn (£7bn) and produced only four models compared to today's seven.
Skoda’s 2017 profit before tax increased by 33.9% to €1.75bn (£1.53bn) while after-tax profits rose by 34% to €1.27bn (£1.11bn).
It also confirmed a profit margin of 9.7% in 2017, up from 2016’s 8.7%, and one of the best profit margins in the industry. By comparison, Audi, also owned by the Volkswagen Group, had a profit margin of 7.8% in 2017.
Skoda, which has flourished since being bought by the VW Group 27 years ago, sold 1,200,500 vehicles last year, an increase of 6.6% over 2016. Its biggest market is China with 325,000 deliveries, followed by Germany, Czech Republic and Great Britain.
Skoda sold 100,000 of its Kodiaq SUV globally last year, making a massive contribution to a segment Skoda was previously absent from.
The Karoq, which will have its first full year of sales in 2018, is expected to match or exceed Kodiaq volumes, production capacity permitting – something R&D boss Christian Strube has previously told Autocar is an issue.
This same problem is one reason why the Kodiaq Coupe, already on sale in China, has not yet been confirmed to be sold in Europe.
The Citigo city car is the weakest link in Skoda’s line-up – it is only sold in Europe and sales in 2017 dropped 8.8%, the most of any of its models. Skoda has recently confirmed an electric version of the Citigo, a sister car of the VW Up and Seat Mii. will become Skoda’s first pure electric model.
Talking at the conference, Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier said: "2017 has impressively demonstrated how well our broad and attractive model range has been received: 2017 was the most successful year in the company's history with more than 1.2 million vehicles delivered.
He continued: “Not only will we be bringing out 19 new models by the end of 2020 but we will also be launching the most comprehensive investment programme in the company’s history: Within the next five years, Skoda will invest around €2bn into electromobility and new mobile services.”
The brand also confirmed it continue its global expansion, launching in Singapore later this year and with plans to launch in South Africa in 2019.
Skoda is the third biggest selling brand in the VW Group. Last year, VW sold 6.2m vehicles, followed by Audi with 1.8m vehicles. Seat shifted 468,400 units last year.