Despite Europe's tough financial problems, Volkswagen Group's Skoda division doesn’t expect that its growth will slow down. In 2011, Skoda sold 879,200 vehicles, setting a new record in its global sales. Juergen Stackmann, the Czech-based brand's head of sales and marketing, told Automotive News Europe, said that its growth will persist in 2012.
About 60% of the brand's global sales are in Europe. He said that its market share is presently slightly lower than 3% in western Europe. Stackmann said that Skoda has more potential. He said that its target is to grow in emerging markets as well as in its core markets.
Stackmann confirmed Skoda's target to raise its global new-car sales to 1.5 million by 2018, helping VW reach its groupwide goal of attaining 10 million sales by the same year. Skoda expects that by 2018, 60% of its volume will come from outside Europe in developing markets like China and India, from 40% now. Europe's share of the brand's global volume would decrease to 40%. Already, this plan is gaining traction.
In 2011, China became Skoda's biggest single market based on unit sales, exceeding Germany to reach No. 1 just five years after it started selling in the country. A VW Group plant in Shanghai builds the three models that Skoda sells in China.
These are the Fabia subcompact, Octavia compact and Superb mid-sized car. In addition, Skoda has production operations with VW in Kaluga, Russia, and Pune, India. He added that the brand won’t expand into new markets such as North America, Brazil or Argentina. He explained that the focus of the company is on “exploiting the potential of our existing regions.”