Currently reading: Geneva motor show 2012: Skoda SUV "next logical step"
Making an SUV is the "next logical step" according to the marque's technical development chief

Making an SUV is the “next logical step” for Skoda, Eckhard Sholz, Skoda’s board member for technical development, told Autocar at the Geneva motor show.

The marque already makes the Skoda Yeti crossover, but it sees room to expand its 4x4 range. “The SUV segment is very interesting,” Sholz said. “It’s one of the segments with the highest volume: you can sell SUVs in Europe, in Russia, in China, everywhere. From the economic side it’s very interesting. And it’s more emotional [than some other segments]. So SUVs are for me the next logical step for Skoda."

Skoda is already committed to launching the production variant of the Mission L mid-size hatchback later this year, which will sit between the Fabia and Octavia.

That will push the third-generation Octavia, due to be launched in 2013, to being bigger than the current model.

But beyond that, an SUV is high on Skoda’s list of priorities. “We are successful with the Yeti. But there is room smaller than the Yeti, and there is also room for bigger than Yeti. So why not?” said Sholz.

The new models form only one part of Skoda's plan to increase its volume to 1.5 million cars per year. Last year Skoda sold 250,000 cars in China and Sholz believes that mainstream carmakers who don't target emerging markets will find it difficult to survive.

“We have two very important things,” said Sholz. “One is the product. Second is the market. That’s the difference between Skoda and some of our competitors. Some of them stay in the European market, and that’s not enough. We go into international markets. That’s a hard job, but it’s the only chance.”

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes. 

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