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.
Škoda shared that with the new Rapid, it is showing commitment to its model offensive plan. The presentation of this new compact saloon comes just months after the brand unveiled the Citigo subcompact. According to Škoda, this newest addition to its lineup is expected to have a significant role in the 2018 growth strategy. This model is projected to be phased in to the different markets in Europe starting in the autumn of 2012.
With overall length of 4.48 meters, total width of 1.71 meters, and a height at 1.46 meters, the Škoda Rapid can be considered as a compact. However, it can seat a maximum of five people comfortably with head room and knee room being the best in the segment. Boot space meanwhile is measured to be the family size 550 liters. With this amount of space, occupants will have nothing to complain about when it comes to the room offered.
Škoda CEO Winfried Vahland confirms that when it comes to roominess, the Rapid will likely set new standards for the class. Indeed, all of these room and space are available at an affordable price. However aside from having exceptional price-value ratio, the new Rapid will also come with a wide range of efficient engines and comprehensive safety features.
CEO Vahland reveals that while already elegant and offers a lot of room, the Rapid is a vehicle that any family can afford. It also has high economy, advanced technology, and innovative solutions, he adds. To put it simply, this is the right car that comes at the right time. Indeed, the new Rapid allows for mobility that is environment-friendly and packaged in a reasonable price.
With the release of the Škoda Rapid, CEO Vahland says further, the brand has now entered the next phase of its model offensive. This model will play an important part in the brand’s growth strategy, he adds, and will ensure that the brand will be the needed momentum going in to the international markets.
The Škoda Rapid will be made at the brand’s main facility located at Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic. A country-specific version though will be made and will be sold for the Chinese market starting 2013.