ŠKODA UK continues to build on its franchising momentum in 2011 as it already recorded six new developments since the start of 2012. In 2011, ŠKODA saw over 20 franchising achievements to its UK network. And since January 1, 2012 until today, ŠKODA UK has developed six new franchises, including two new operations with the Arnold Clark Group in Scotland and a new opening in Bury St. Edmonds with Vindis.
ŠKODA is planning more developments and site improvements this year, including the commencement of the roll-out of its new showroom designs. ŠKODA UK’s retail presence was reinforced by new businesses and continued expansion at existing sites, which bring the brand closer to achieve its ambitious growth targets over the coming years. In 2011, 12 open points were filled by the carmaker. New ŠKODA sites include Essex Auto Group in Rayleigh; Trust Group in Redditch; Stourbridge in Progress, Northampton and Lookers in Stockport.
The company was also able to secure three changes of ownership and five major developments on existing sites. The company’s Yeti and Superb models posted an increase in demand in 2011, selling over 45,000 and securing a 2.3% market share.
The company also showed last year that it could satisfy its customers more than other carmakers. The company topped the 2011 Auto Express Driver Power survey and it ranked third in the JD Power Study of Customer Satisfaction, marking the 18th consecutive year that ŠKODA made the Top Ten. Strong sales and high customer ratings have led key regional dealer groups and existing retailers to support the brand.
“Our strategy is about creating a ‘blended’ partner profile,” Stephen Shepherd, ŠKODA UK National Franchise Manager, said about the company’s brand philosophy.
Shepherd said the company wants to keep the best of its traditional independent partners, and hopes to work alongside them to drive investment in their facilities, people and processes. Shepherd added that ŠKODA has targeted strong, regional groups successfully to fill open points and acquire businesses that have become available. “The achievements of 2011 are evidence of the success this strategy has and will continue to have,” he concluded.