Skoda boss Bernhard Maier claims the firm would have sold 100,000 more cars if it had room to build them

Sales of new Skoda cars were held back by around 10 per cent last year because its factories were working flat-out and couldn’t produce more cars.

“We would have been able last year to sell nearly more than 100,000 vehicles than we did because of a lack of production capacity,” says company chairman Bernhard Maier.

Skoda was short of body building and final assembly capacity at its two main plants in the Czech Republic — Mlada Boleslav and Kvasiny — where it assembles around 800,000 cars a year. A third plant in Slovakia makes the Citigo city hatch.

Models affected include the Fabia, Rapid, Octavia and Superb and the hot-selling Karoq and Kodiaq crossovers.

The loss of 100,000 cars is not far off the total number of Karoq SUVs built last year – an indication of how significant the lost volume is.

Skoda had hoped to increase output at its Czech plants by adding weekend working, but unions vetoed the plans.

Knowing that a crunch point might be coming in assembly capacity, Skoda is looking at opening a third plant in the Czech Republic.

The new plant would be “multi-brand” and a decision is imminent.

“By the middle of this year we have to decide whether to push the button,” said Maier.

Which models the plant would build has yet to be decided, although Maier describes it as “a completely different product line-up”.

Although the new plant will take some years to come on stream, in return for creating more jobs in the Czech Republic, Skoda hopes unions will agree to weekend working as soon as possible.

Our Verdict

Skoda Kodiaq

Skoda jumps into the SUV market with both feet — and seven seats, but can the Kodiaq win the people's hearts in an already congested SUV market?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Skoda has also had to work around shortages of some petrol and diesel engines due to the difficulties re-homologating for the new WLTP regulations, but Maier pins the bulk of the lost capacity on a shortage of body and final assembly.

Read more

New Skoda Kamiq crossover: Nissan Juke rival revealed​

Skoda to launch 30 new cars by 2023, following record 2018​

2019 Skoda Scala UK pricing and specifications revealed​

Join the debate

Comments
11

A34

9 April 2019

Skoda... the European equivalent of the Austin or Morris! Only still alive thriving...

9 April 2019
When they need to expand they look at opening in their home country first . JLR and MR Dyson take note please .

9 April 2019
Sundym wrote:

When they need to expand they look at opening in their home country first . JLR and MR Dyson take note please .

Of course they will - labour is stil a lot cheaper in Skodas ‘home country’

No different to VW building the Polo in South Africa, Audi building the Q5 in Mexico, Audi building in Hungary, Seat building the A1 for Audi in Spain... cheaper labour

9 April 2019
There are plenty of cheaper places to make skodas as you've kindly pointed out yet they didnt pick the cheapest, they picked in relative terms the expensive home market to build in .

9 April 2019
Jimbbobw1977 wrote:

Sundym wrote:

When they need to expand they look at opening in their home country first . JLR and MR Dyson take note please .

Of course they will - labour is stil a lot cheaper in Skodas ‘home country’ No different to VW building the Polo in South Africa, Audi building the Q5 in Mexico, Audi building in Hungary, Seat building the A1 for Audi in Spain... cheaper labour

 

If it weren't for the fact VW, Audi, MB and BMW build most of their cars in Germany you could be right.

There's lot's more to it that just cheap labour otherwise they'd be built elsewhere. Government sweeteners / propert prices play a big part too. If Czech Repb. union's weren't playing ball then you'd have thought Skoda would be looking elsewhere for a new factory, even if they were just using the threat as a bargaining tool.

9 April 2019
Sundym wrote:

When they need to expand they look at opening in their home country first . JLR and MR Dyson take note please .

I believe JLR build most of their cars in the UK, certainly in regards of cars for sale in Europe

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

9 April 2019

If this were true (capacity held back sales by 100k), why does Skoda still discount its new car sales in the UK?  Surely the point about demand exceeding supply is that the pricing is too low - not sure I have heard of a manufacturer turning down an opportunity to increase its margin!

The car-buying public gets what it deserves, unfortunately ...

9 April 2019

Shame they weren't harmed more by some proportionate fines in the EU to the VW group for the mess they've made of the diesel market, and emmissions testing in general. Odd that Audi aside, it's VW group brands doing best after dieselgate. 

9 April 2019
Vee_8 wrote:

Shame they weren't harmed more by some proportionate fines in the EU to the VW group for the mess they've made of the diesel market, and emmissions testing in general. Odd that Audi aside, it's VW group brands doing best after dieselgate. 

Its not that odd - most of the public don’t know the true horror of dieselgate, still assume German engineering is best and that all VW’s are built in Germany and that they are reliable. 

9 April 2019

How much capacity was given over to Seat? Company politics also played their part. The Mii and Citigo sell is tiny numbers too realtive to the Up! too.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week