The celebration vehicle – a silver, third-generation Škoda Octavia – rolled off the assembly line at Škoda’s main plant in Mladá Boleslav, 5 February. The vehicle will be used as a VIP sedan at the Škoda’s Technology Center in Česana.
The 15 million car threshold underlines the dynamic growth of the brand. In the past six years alone, one third of the total 15 million vehicles rolled off the assembly lines. Just one year ago, at the beginning of 2012, Škoda had produced its 14-millionth car.
“The entire Škoda team is very proud of the 15 million celebration,” says Škoda’s chairman of the board, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. “Producing 15 million cars is a symbol for the great development of the Škoda brand. We have been building vehicles for 118 years and automobiles since the year 1905. Thus we are among the automobile brands with the richest traditions in the world,” says Vahland. In the coming years,Škoda plans to continue to speed up development and sell at least 1.5 million vehicles per year by 2018. By launching the Citigo, Rapid and the new Octavia, the greatest model offensive in company’s history has had a successful start. In total Škoda will launch eight new or facelifted models in 2013.
In the coming days, the new Škoda Octavia will be launched in the Czech Republic and Germany, while other markets will follow in coming weeks. “The Škoda Octavia is the brand’s core product and outsells other Škoda models by far,” says the Škoda CEO. In 2012, the Octavia accounted for about 44 percent of the brand’s worldwide sales. Like no other car, the Octavia symbolises the rapid success story of the brand over the past two decades. Since 1996, about 3.75 million Octavias have been delivered to customers.
Škoda UK will launch Octavia in the coming weeks to the UK markets. In 2012, the UK broke through the 50,000 barrier for the first time with more than 53,000 cars and a market share of 2.6%, a record for the UK.
For the production of the new Octavia generation,Škoda set in motion one of the most comprehensive modernisation and expansion projects in the history of the main plant in Mladá Boleslav. The core of the measures consists of an increase of the capacity of the assembly line for the Škoda models Octavia and Rapid in Mladá Boleslav, from 800 to 1,200 vehicles per day.
For this purpose, a new body shop and a fully-automated paint shop for interior car body parts were installed at the plant in Mladá Boleslav, among other projects. This month will see the ground-breaking for a new, even more environmentally-friendly pressing line. Besides the Škoda Octavia and the Škoda Rapid, the Škoda Fabia is produced on another assembly line in Mladá Boleslav.
At the Škoda plant in Kvasiny, Czech Republic, the production capacity for the Škoda Yeti was recently doubled to 100,000 vehicles per year. Furthermore, Škoda modernised the plant in order to manufacture the Škoda Roomster, which moved to Kvasiny. Until the end of 2012, the Roomster had been produced in the Škoda plant in Vrchlabí. The company invested about 7.2 million EUR in relocating the production.
The relocation of the Roomster production to Kvasiny took place within the framework of the conversion of the Škoda plant in Vrchlabí, Czech Republic, into an exclusive component factory. Since October 2012, it has been producing the direct shift transmission DQ200 with dual clutch (DSG) for the Volkswagen Group. Together with the Volkswagen Group, the Czech manufacturer invested about 170 million EUR in the preparation of the plant for DSG production.
In order to prepare for the planned growth, Škoda has also been expanding its capacities in China, Russia and India:
In China, the Škoda Yeti has been built in cooperation with Shanghai Volkswagen since the end of 2012. This year will also see the introduction of the Chinese version of the Škoda Rapid, followed by the new Škoda Octavia.
In Russia, the compact SUV Škoda Yeti began to roll off the assembly lines at the Russian GAZ plant in Nizhniy Novgorod a few weeks ago. Beginning in mid-2013, the plant will also manufacture the new Škoda Octavia for the Russian market. The manufacture of the new Škoda Rapid for the Russian market has been planned to begin in spring 2014.
In India, the compact sedan Rapid has been produced for the local market at the plant in Pune alongside other Škoda models since 2011.