Skoda’s January sales increased by 10.2% to 75,400 units in year-on-year figures – its best January result ever since it was founded 117 years ago. Volkswagen Group's Czech brand posted these figures last Friday. This increase was driven was aided by sales in western European markets, primarily Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Skoda's production makes up around 7% of overall Czech exports. The company, with its broad web of suppliers, is one of the primary drivers for the economy. Skoda is considered to be a major factor in Volkswagen's plan to be the top selling global brand by 2018, ahead of General motors and Toyota.
This brand, which was purchased by VW for $1.4 billion after previously beginning a joint venture with the Czech carmaker in 1991, has been crucial in aiding VW to gain a more solid footing in emerging markets, with its budget vehicles. Skoda benefited from the rise in demand from first-time buyers in Russia, India and China. Skoda is estimated to boost sales by 84% to 1.41 million vehicles by 2018 from 879,200 last year, according to IHS Automotive.
This growth is more than double the 41% that’s predicted for the VW brand but it still hasn’t achieved Skoda's own target of 1.5 million vehicles by 2018. Since Skoda was involved with VW, its sales have quadrupled from lower than 200,000 vehicles in 1991. In 2011, Volkswagen Group had been the second-largest world automaker with 8.16 million sales, falling behind General Motors with 9.05 million. In the same period, Toyota was No. 3 with sales of 7.95 million units.