At this year’s Frankfurt International Motor Show, ŠKODA makes headlines with the world premiere of two new models, the new Rapid Spaceback and the completely redesigned ŠKODA Yeti, increasing the number of model series in the model range to a total of seven.
This year, ŠKODA will launch eight new or redesigned models and plans to increase its sales to at least 1.5 million per year by 2018. In the first seven months of 2013 alone, ŠKODA delivered 534,300 vehicles to customers.
“The largest model offensive in the company’s history confirms ŠKODA’s position as a high-volume brand in international automobile markets,” says ŠKODA’s CEO Winfried Vahland. “Our new and expanded model range reinforces our brand at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. The steady expansion of our product offering is proof of our company’s and our team’s competitiveness. With its space, features, and design offering, the ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback sets new standards in its segment. Despite difficult market situations, we remain committed to growth. We aim to sell at least 1.5 million cars per year by 2018,” says Vahland.
In Frankfurt, the brand’s strength will be more visible than ever before. ŠKODA’s portfolio now includes seven model series: from the sub-compact ŠKODA Citigo to the Fabia and Roomster, the compact Rapid Limousine, the new Rapid Spaceback, the Octavia model series and the Superb to the Yeti. All ŠKODAs now sport the new logo and newly designed lettering.
ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback: The new class in the compact hatchback segment
The Rapid Spaceback is ŠKODA’s new offering in the high-volume compact segment. “As the first ŠKODA hatchback model in the compact class, the ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback is another milestone for the brand,” says ŠKODA head of development Frank Welsch. “It is a first for us to have a representative in the strongest European car segment. The ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback is the perfect car for young people and families,” says Welsch.
The ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback combines dynamically fresh design with the excellent ŠKODA qualities we expect and thus distinguishes itself both visually and functionally from its competition. “The new Rapid Spaceback is an attractive new offering in its class, a vehicle with a high degree of independence and an unmatched package,” says Welsch.
Visually clear and distinct, the ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback sports the new ŠKODA design. Compared with conventional hatchback models, the car appears significantly longer when viewed from the side. The Rapid Spaceback has many optional features, such as a large panoramic sunroof and a long rear window. The new brand appearance marks the front: A new logo on the bonnet ‘nose’, a distinctive grille, headlamps and fog lights arranged in a cloverleaf pattern. The rear design underscores horizontal lines and sports ŠKODA’s typical ‘C’-shaped lights.
The interior appears particularly fresh and youthful. Rapid Spaceback customers can choose new 3-spoke steering wheels, new fabrics and new trim lines. In addition to being stylishly sporty, the interior offers plenty of room for all passengers. Passengers in the rear enjoy the most knee room and headroom in the entire segment, while the boot sets new standards with its volume of 415 to 1,380 litres.
The ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback is a smart compact to the core that includes many ‘Simply Clever’ solutions, such as the double cargo floor in the boot, which divides the floor into two horizontal compartments when needed, an ice scraper inside the fuel filler flap, many holders for daily items, restraining nets and hooks.
The range of engines includes four petrol and two diesel versions. Shortly after market launch of the Rapid Spaceback, ŠKODA will introduce a GreenLine version with 99 g CO2 emissions per kilometre. In terms of safety, the Rapid Spaceback protects occupants with numerous active and passive safety features.
ŠKODA Yeti completely revised – now in two design variations
A completely redesigned ŠKODA Yeti is certain to be a highlight at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. For the first time, this popular compact SUV is available in two variations: the ŠKODA Yeti styled for urban use, and the ŠKODA Yeti Outdoor, ready for adventures. Both designs sport a new front and rear design, a fresh interior, all-wheel or front-wheel drive, and expanded engine/transmission combinations. European market launch is scheduled by the end of 2013.
“The ŠKODA Yeti’s progress has been stellar since its launch four years ago, and it has exceeded our expectations by far. Impressive numbers both on- and off-road are proof of its power,“ says Werner Eichhorn, ŠKODA board member for sales and marketing. “The new edition will make the ŠKODA Yeti even more attractive and versatile. In the popular SUV segment, we are definitely geared for growth.”
The ŠKODA Yeti has been completely redesigned and now appears with an entirely new front and rear in the new ŠKODA design language. In addition to this redesign, ŠKODA plans to introduce a second distinct line of design. The compact SUV is now available either as a primarily urban-styled Yeti or as a Yeti Outdoor with specific off-road features. While on the urban-type Yeti, visible design elements, such as the bumper, underride guard, side trim and door sills all are kept in the same colour as the vehicle itself, the outdoor variation sports black plastic elements that match its off-road look.
Both ŠKODA Yeti variations are impressively versatile. Customers can choose between seven different engines, front or all-wheel-drive with Haldex 5 clutch, and numerous engine-transmission combinations including DSG gearboxes. The ŠKODA Yeti also sports new aluminium rims and new interior design elements, such as a 3-spoke steering wheel with different design options, new fabrics and decoration as well as innovative engineering features, such as an optional rear view camera, a first in a ŠKODA model.
Largest model offensive in company history launched successfully
The new ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback and the redesigned ŠKODA Yeti are the manufacturer’s newest innovations within the largest model offensive in ŠKODA’s 118-year history.
“Over the last two years, we have redesigned or fundamentally revamped a large part of our model series and increased our product offering from five to seven models,” says ŠKODA CEO Vahland. “We have never had a model offensive of this dimension at ŠKODA.”
The new Octavia – great reviews
The new ŠKODA Octavia’s performance in the markets is just one example of how well-liked the new model series are. “Media and customer response to the new Octavia has been very positive,” says Eichhorn, board member for sales and marketing. With the help of the third-generation Octavia, the manufacturer aims to sell half a million per year, which would rank the model among the top ten worldwide.
The new Octavia’s position in its class is now proving stronger than ever. Both the limousine and the estate boast unrivalled space, new design, high functionality, innovative safety and comfort systems, fuel economy, numerous ‘Simply Clever’ solutions, and the typical ŠKODA value.
Focus on emerging markets
With plans to keep the pace over the next few years, ŠKODA’s growth strategy aims to increase sales to at least 1.5 million vehicles per year by 2018. In the coming years, the manufacturer will introduce one new or redesigned car every six months on average.
ŠKODA’s plans also include expansions in the growing markets of China and Russia. “ŠKODA has been successful in these countries for many years. We will strive to continue this positive growth in the coming years,“ says ŠKODA head of sales Eichhorn.
China is established as the brand’s strongest single market. Since the market entry in 2007, roughly one million ŠKODA models have already rolled off the manufacturing lines at Shanghai Volkswagen, the company’s local partner. In the first seven months of 2013, about one-fourth of ŠKODA deliveries went to the Chinese market. In the coming years, the brand aims to increase sales in China to about half a million per year, focusing on a significant expansion of the model range in the country and increasing the number of ŠKODA models offered and locally manufactured in China from three to six models by mid-2014.
In Russia, ŠKODA maintains manufacturing plants in two locations. Currently, Russia is the third-strongest ŠKODA sales market worldwide, and number two in Europe. The Russian GAZ plant in Nizhny Novgorod rolled out its first ŠKODA Octavia just a few weeks ago and is set to produce the redesigned ŠKODA Yeti. The manufacturer plans to start building the ŠKODA Rapid at the Volkswagen plant in Kaluga in early 2014.
The new Octavia recently began rolling off production lines in India.
In addition to international growth markets, ŠKODA continues to expand in Europe. “Europe remains one of our key markets,” says Eichhorn. The brand aims to increase its market share from roughly four per cent to over five per cent. Therefore, ŠKODA has been investing in its locations in the Czech Republic, extensively expanding and modernising the company’s main location in Mladá Boleslav for the production of the ŠKODA Rapid/Rapid Spaceback and the new ŠKODA Octavia. ŠKODA is also currently building its technology and development centre in Česana near the headquarters in Mladá Boleslav.
Deliveries in 2013
The current economic climate, numerous model changes and production start-ups have had an effect on this year’s sales performance. During the first seven months of 2013 ŠKODA delivered a total of 534,300 vehicles, 5.5 per cent less than the in the same period of the previous year.
After production start of the ŠKODA Octavia at the Mladá Boleslav main plant, production in Russia is ramping up as well. Production of the new ŠKODA Rapid is currently ramped up in China, and that of the ŠKODA Octavia in India. The most intense year of ŠKODA’s model offensive is also seeing a fundamental redesign of the ŠKODA Superb and ŠKODA Yeti.