Production of the new Skoda Rapid car has started in the Czech Republic. Intended for European markets, the Rapid will make its debut at the Paris Auto Show next month. It’s set to start selling this October in Europe. The compact car will be positioned between the Fabia subcompact and the Octavia compact.
The Rapid is a vital model in its plans to increase annual sales to 1.5 million by 2018 from 879,200 units in 2011. A localized variant of the Rapid has already begun selling in India. Beginning next year, this model will be produced and sold in China. It will arrive in Russia in 2014.
Skoda said that the five-seat Rapid is a spacious family car with a big tailgate and a 550-liter cargo space, increasing to almost 1,500 liters with the rear seat bench folded down. In a statement, Skoda Chairman Winfried Vahland referred to the Rapid as “an important pillar” for its Growth Strategy 2018.
Last August 23, a ceremony was held to kick off the start of production in Mlada Boleslav near Prague. The Rapid is produced together with the Fabia and Octavia. After the car is introduced, Skoda will increase the production capacity of the Assembly Line I in Mlada Boleslav to 1,200 vehicles each day from 800. Skoda said that in the first half of the year, it produced 530,000 vehicles in its global production plants.