The new Skoda Citigo city car is the first model in a rapid expansion of Skoda's product line-up, which will include a new hatchback, MPV and a large SUV in the near future.
Future Skoda models in the new line-up, which will be increased at a rate of one new car every six months, will be “very attractive products at low prices with low costs”, according to technical chief Eckhard Scholz, adding that the firm was only interested in launching cars in “big volume segments, not anything niche”.
The Czech firm wants to be selling 1.5 million cars per year by 2018, up from the 762,600 it sold in 2010.
The three-door Citigo will be the sole member of Skoda’s New Small Family at launch, a line-up that will include a four-door version and possibly a small MPV.
Skoda has been buoyed by the success of the Yeti and sees room in its product range for a larger SUV, particularly to further fuel its growth in China.
Don’t expect to see a straight badge-engineered Skoda version of the VW Touran or Sharan for its new MPV, though, as Scholz pointed out Skoda “always goes its own way” in the VW Group when it comes to new models, except on cars such as the Citigo and Fabia that require partners in order to be profitable.
“We will launch a SUV bigger than the Yeti,” confirmed Scholz, “as such a car is important for China, as well as Europe. We’re also looking at a more conventional MPV, something bigger than the Roomster.”
The Octavia-sized MissionL saloon-come-hatchback concept was revealed at Frankfurt and will make production in 2012 with minimal changes. Scholz also referred to the production car as “Rapide” when speaking with Autocar, but Skoda is understood to still be deciding on a final name of the car. It will be priced between the current Fabia and Octavia, from around £12,000.
The VisionD hatchback from Geneva also looks to have a production future as a hatchback version of the MissionL. “We are already thinking of a different direction for MissionL,” said Scholz.
“We always have saloons and combis [estates] so maybe we should do something different with MissionL,” he said. “We already have too many combis.”
The MissionL is close in size in the current Octavia. The new Octavia, which will be Skoda’s biggest-selling model in the new range when it’s launched in late 2012/early 2013, will grow in size to fit between MissionL and the Superb.
The Superb is also due a facelift in the next 12 months, and early test cars have been spied recently.