ŠKODA is picking up the pace in China, and the company’s current model campaign continues: The highlight of the car maker’s appearance at the ‘Auto China 2014’ trade fair (20 – 29 April) in Beijing will be the Chinese premiere of the new ŠKODA Octavia, which will go on sale in China in May 2014.
In addition, the company will be unveiling the new ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback Xindong and the urban version of the new ŠKODA Yeti at the trade show in China. ŠKODA’s model range in China is set to double in 2014 to six locally produced models. Through the product campaign and by expanding local production capacities, ŠKODA aims to increase deliveries to customers in China to more than 500,000 cars per year until 2018. During the first quarter of 2014, ŠKODA delivered over 62,000 vehicles to customers in China; an increase of 7.5% over the first three months of last year.
“As ŠKODA’s largest individual market and the worldwide number one growth market, China is a central pillar in our global growth strategy,” says ŠKODA CEO, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. “ŠKODA is pushing ahead with its model campaign in China. The new ŠKODA Octavia, the third generation of our best seller, will be launched in the Chinese market in May. In addition, we will be expanding our portfolio in China this year to include the new ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback.” Alongside this model will be the recently introduced, completely revised ŠKODA Yeti, ŠKODA Superb, ŠKODA Rapid saloon and the ŠKODA Fabia. Vahland continues, “We want to convince our Chinese customers of our brand’s good values and to continue to grow powerfully with the most advanced and strongest ŠKODA model range ever. As part of our growth strategy, we have set ourselves the goal of increasing deliveries to customers in China to more than 500,000 vehicles per year. We are building on the longstanding and close partnership we have with Shanghai Volkswagen to achieve this goal.”
Premiere in China: The best ŠKODA Octavia ever
The new ŠKODA Octavia will be celebrating its Chinese premiere in Beijing. ŠKODA’s bestseller is in a class of its own, setting new standards in terms of space, functionality, technology and design in the compact vehicle class. The new Octavia has grown in nearly every dimension. No other vehicle in the compact segment offers a longer interior or more legroom and headroom in the back. The car’s 590-litre boot is the largest in its class, and the car’s functionality has been improved through a number of ‘Simply Clever’ details.
Despite its larger size the third-generation Octavia is up to 90 kg lighter than the previous model. The new Octavia now features a completely new design. Never before has the Octavia been as dynamic or timelessly elegant, distinctive, sophisticated and confident as the third generation. Subtle design changes have been made to meet Chinese customers’ demands through the increased use of chrome elements. The new Octavia will be available with two efficient petrol engines in China; the 1.4L TSI and the 1.6L petrol.
The ŠKODA Octavia has been the heart of the brand, since 2007 also in China, and is the base of success of the brand on the Chinese market. Since then, 690.000 Octavias have been delivered to Chinese customers, which is 61% of all ŠKODA vehicles sold in China during this period. Around 119,200 Chinese customers opted for an Octavia in 2013 alone.
ŠKODA aims to build on the success of this range with the third-generation model. In cooperation with Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW), production starts in spring, with its market launch in May 2014. The Octavia has already been a huge hit in Europe: over 62,000 units were delivered to customers in the first quarter of 2014, corresponding to an increase of more than 26% over the same period last year. “Both sales and the number of incoming orders have exceeded our expectations,” says Dr. Vahland. The new ŠkodaOctavia is one of the most award-winning vehicles of its class and has beaten even premium brands in numerous comparison tests.
The new Škoda Octavia Combi and new Škoda Octavia Scout can also be seen in Beijing for the first time in China. Both models will be demonstrating the rich variety of ŠKODA’s third-generation success model at the trade fair in Beijing.
The new ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback: ŠKODA’s young compact for China
The introduction of the ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback at the Beijing Motor Show signals the launch of the brand’s first Spaceback in the compact class on the Chinese market. The new model expands the range offered by the brand in China, positioned between the ŠKODA Fabia and the ŠKODA Octavia. This brings the number of ŠKODAs currently manufactured in China to six, including the Fabia, Rapid, Rapid Spaceback, Octavia, Yeti and Superb. The Rapid Spaceback is the first compact vehicle from ŠKODA to offer the brand’s traditional qualities in a hatchback.
The dynamic and fresh design of the ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback appeals to a younger audience. “The Rapid Spaceback is a spacious, practical and versatile compact car with a sporty look,” says Dr. Frank Welsch, Board Member for Technical Development. True to brand values, this young compact offers lots of space, a wide range of ‘Simply Clever’ ideas, top safety, low consumption and excellent value for money.
Elegant compact SUV ready for any situation: The new urban ŠKODA Yeti
The urban version of the ŠKODA Yeti, which is being introduced at the trade fair in China for the first time, is an ideal companion for the urban jungle. In 2013, the ŠKODA Yeti was completely redesigned and now sports a host of new technical features. This popular compact SUV is now available in two different versions – the elegant ŠKODA Yeti for the city and the adventurous off-road version.
The locally produced Chinese version of the Yeti has a longer wheelbase extended by six centimetres to cater to the requirements of Chinese customers, and offers additional levels of comfort in the back. The ŠKODA Yeti will be available in China with an optional rear mounted spare wheel. A choice of three petrol engines will be available for the Yeti in China; a 1.6 litre petrol engine, available exclusively for the urban version, as well as the 1.4 TSI and the 1.8 TSI.
The core of the comprehensively redesigned ŠKODA Yeti is represented in completely new front and rear sections incorporating ŠKODA’s new design language. The visible exterior parts of the urban version, such as bumpers, underride protection, side strips and door sill covers, are painted in the vehicle body colour. In addition, there are new alloy wheels and new interior design elements, such as the 3-spoke steering wheels for the Yeti and four-spoke steering wheels for the Yeti Outdoor, new materials and patterns, as well as innovative technological features: The ŠKODA Yeti now offers an optional rear-view camera and many new ‘Simply Clever’ solutions for both versions.
ŠKODA in China – A success story with over 1.13 million vehicles sold since 2007
ŠKODA aims to strengthen its model campaign efforts in China to achieve future sales of more than 500,000 vehicles per year. Since 2010, China has been the largest individual market for the Czech carmaker. In 2013, the company delivered 227,000 vehicles to customers in China; this is almost a quarter of ŠKODA’s total sales last year.
The first model produced in China was the ŠKODA Octavia in 2007. ŠKODA has sold a total of over 1.13 million vehicles on the Chinese market since then. In 2008 it was followed by the ŠKODA Fabia and the ŠKODA Superb in 2009. The ŠKODA Yeti has been available in China since 2013, first as an export model and later as a vehicle produced in China in partnership with Shanghai Volkswagen since the end of 2013. The ŠKODA Rapid compact sedan has been available in the Chinese market for a year. “ŠKODA has made fantastic strides over the past seven years in China. We are entering a new phase with our new models and we aim to sell half a million cars per year,” says Prof. Vahland.
ŠKODA is counting on its close partnership with Shanghai Volkswagen. “SVW is a reliable and competent partner for ŠKODA,” Vahland adds. Since the brand entered the Chinese market, more than one million ŠKODAs have been produced at the SVW plant, or approximately 10% of the total ten million vehicles manufactured here since 1983. ŠKODA currently manufactures cars at three locations in China.
ŠKODA Growth Strategy a success
ŠKODA AUTO has been on top form so far this year; the company has sold more cars in the first quarter of 2014 than ever before in the first three months of a year. Between January and March, the brand delivered 247,200 vehicles to customers worldwide, that is an increase of 12.1% over the same period last year. In March, deliveries increased by 14.6% compared to last year to 96,100 vehicles (March 2013: 83,800). That was the best March in corporate history.
The model campaign will be moving into the next stage over the coming months. The premiere of the striking ‘ŠKODA VisionC’ design concept at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March signalled the dawn of the brand. This emotionally designed five-door coupé is leading the next stage in the evolution of ŠKODA design. At the same time, the concept also introduces a new innovative body concept for the ŠKODA brand.
ŠKODA at the 13th annual ‘AUTO CHINA 2014’ in Beijing:
- Location of the ŠKODA stand: Hall E5 of the China International Exhibition Center New Venue (Tianzhu)
- ŠKODA exhibition space: 1,141 m2
- Škoda press conference: 20 April 2014, 09:30 – 10:00
- Number of ŠKODA vehicles on display on press days: 9 vehicles (4x Octavia, 1x Octavia Combi, 1x Octavia Scout, 1x Rapid Spaceback, 1x Rapid Sport, 1x Yeti)
- Number of ŠKODA vehicles on display on public days: 12vehicles (2 Octavias, 1 Octavia Combi, 1 Octavia Scout, 1 Rapid Spaceback, 1 Rapid, 1 Rapid Sport, 2 Yetis, 1 Superb, 1 Superb Combi, 1 Fabia Monte Carlo)
- Press day: 20 April 2014
- Dealers’ days: 21 and 22 April 2014
- Public days: 23 April to 29 April 2014