Skoda posted a 17-percent surge in sales in January to 80,900 vehicles, thanks to strong sales in Europe and China. This would be a good start for the Czech carmaker which is looking to sell 1 million cars for the first time this year, and 1.5 million vehicles annually by 2018. In 2013, Skoda dropped 2 percent to 939,200 cars.
Skoda has been pressing into China, which is now its largest national market, and other developing countries to offset a slump in its home market in Europe.
Skoda’s growth plan is part of the bid of parent Volkswagen Group to surpass General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. as the biggest carmaker in the world by 2018. Skoda has disclosed plans to launch a new or revised model every six months on average until 2016 to help boost sales.
Helping the carmaker post a 13-percent rise in Europe in January is its Octavia compact range, which surged 40 percent in the month. Skoda logged a 7-percent gain in Germany and a 25-percent leap in the United Kingdom. The Czech carmaker saw its sale in eastern Europe jump 11 percent in January, accompanied by a 3 percent jump in Russia.
The carmaker also logged a 27-percent climb in deliveries in China in January. Skoda launched the new Octavia in Russia in the second half of 2013, and will introduce it in China early this year. Skoda will start selling its Rapid compact sedan in Russia in the first six months of 2014.