Skoda’s new MissionL Concept, which was launched at last September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, will take on the name Rapid when it starts selling in all markets except in China. This news was confirmed by the automaker at the Beijing Auto Show. The MissionL gives us a preview of the new Rapid model that will be crucial to Skoda’s plans when it starts production later this year.
This new model will be positioned on the gap between the Fabia and Octavia in the existing Skoda range. This five-door hatchback-come-saloon -- “compact liftback design” -- has dimensions comparable with those of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. This car is available in Europe, Russia and China.
By the end of 2012, Skoda will offer a separate four-door version for India. Skoda will have a regionalized version of the car for each market. Skoda says that this car will be a major contributor to its goal to attain annual worldwide sales of 1.5 million units by 2018. In 2011, Skoda had record-breaking sales of 762,600 units. Most of MissionL’s key design features will come from the VisionD concept from the 2011 Geneva motor show that has a similar size.
Autocar said that this concept is about 80% ready for production and uses the lengthened VW Polo mechanicals as its basis. According to Skoda chairman Winfried Vahland, the MissionL portrays the exact direction that the brand will take.
Vahland said that the Rapid’s production version will be followed be a new model every six months for up to the next three years. Under Skoda’s expansion plans, the Yeti will be launched and then locally produced in China in 2013. This would also be the year that Skoda will launch a “new compact model” for China that has been co-developed with Shanghai Volkswagen. The Yeti will also be produced together with Russia starting in 2012.