Škoda, the butt of many jokes with its post-war rear-engine oversteering models, has just surpassed the one million mark of vehicles delivered in 2016.
Škoda, which has been transformed since it became part of the Volkswagen AG, reached the milestone one month earlier than in 2015, and has delivered a seven-digit number of vehicles for the third year in a row.
The top model, the Superb, has made a considerable contribution to this success. From January to today, almost 115,000 units of the flagship model have rolled off the production line – an increase of 85.2 per cent compared with the previous year.
The launch of the new large SUV model, the Kodiaq, and the comprehensively upgraded Octavia promise further growth momentum for 2017.
“The current financial year shows Škoda can sustainably tap into new customer segments with a modern model range on the international markets,” says chief executive officer Bernhard Maier, adding: “We will also continue our growth course in 2017. The new Kodiaq will play an important role in this; the model will expand our range in the growing SUV segment.”
The flagship Superb has recorded significant sales development over the year to date. Between January and October, almost 115,000 units of the top model made their way to customers around the world. Compared to the same period last year, this represents an increase of 85.2 per cent (January to October 2015: 61,900 vehicles).
The Fabia small car and the compact Rapid have shown positive, but less-dramatic trend. Deliveries of these increased 6.7 per cent and 7 per cent respectively, over the same period.
The heart of the brand, Octavia, has made a significant contribution to the expected record sales: the company delivered 361,700 units from January to October. In the coming year, major revisions are planned. The successful model is set to further strengthen its successful position in international markets.
Škoda will launch its first large SUV next year. With the Kodiaq, the brand is attempting to pitch into (somewhat late in the day) the currently large and fast growing SUV segment. The company sees the new model opening up new customer groups for the traditional brand. Orders are being placed and product will be heading to first customers in February 2017.
Beyond the positive outlook for 2017, executives claim Škoda has set course for "long-term growth".
The plan of action is set out in Strategy 2025. In this, the Czech manufacturer is preparing for the challenges facing the automotive industry.
Key aspects of future strategy include "electromobility, digitalizing the company, products and manufacturing, as well as new mobility services and connectivity".
Executives claim Škoda intends to grow in two dimensions: Firstly, increasing vehicle sales; and secondly by expanding the growth course to include new business segments, such as digital mobility services.
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