Skoda chief executive Winfried Vahland revealed in a statement that the carmaker is targeting to double its sales in China to 500,000 vehicles by 2018, when around a third of its annual production could be sold in the country, considered to be the largest vehicle market in the world. Skoda is planning to boost its global annual sales to at least 1.5 million vehicles by 2018, up from 939,200 vehicles in 2012.
Skoda said in March 2013 that it was on course to achieve its goal, despite facing a gloomy situation in the recession-hit Europe. Skoda is also banking on growth in key emerging markets like China or Russia. The Czech carmaker disclosed Thursday it was doubling its vehicle lineup in China to six models this year.
Sales of light vehicles surpassed 19 million in 2012 and some analysts expect the figure to surge to over 30 million in the next decade. Skoda first entered the vehicle market in China nearly six years ago and has sold 913,800 during the period until 2012, when it posted sales of around 235,700 vehicles in the country.
China has been Skoda’s top market since 2010. Skoda parent Volkswagen Group said this month that it has plans to boost its workforce in China by a third to over 100,000 people by 2018, as the carmaker continues to expand its local production capacity.
Skoda remains the top exporter in the Czech Republic, where exports account for 80 percent of annual economic output. Czech exports have been badly hit by slumping demand for vehicles in the euro zone while its local sales have been affected by the government's spending cuts and tax hikes.
As part of the next phase of its model offensive, Škoda revealed it will be launching the Superb. This remains to be the top-selling model of the brand and this latest version will have new design elements coupled with a fresh interior plus technical features that have all been enhanced. Further, the engine ranges being offered have both the fuel consumption and the emissions being lowered by as much as 19%.
A quick look at this latest release from Škoda immediately reveals that it will indeed bring new energy for this upper mid-size segment. In addition to having a new design for the front section and the rear section, the interior is fresh as well. In addition, the design language is also noticeable given the fascinating elements included in this model.
The use of the clear lines, balanced proportions, and the precise quality, make this vehicle the best example of a commanding presence and elegance. As mentioned, the front section has been redesigned all the way to the A-pillars. Indeed, everything is new. This includes the bonnet, front fender, and bumper. Even the fog lights, front headlights, and vehicle logo, are new.
New as well is the radiator grille. Speaking of logo, the one in the Superb is made more pronounced and is positioned in the bonnet’s center. The bonnet itself has been placed in a more downward manner.
Headlights in the front have a new design as well and this time manages to show the expressive quality of the model’s new “face.” New as well are the bi-xenon headlights with the LED daytime running lights integrated to them. Incorporated as well are the LED turning signals, a first for the Superb. Much like the front section, the rear end also has a new design.
This area is precise, clean, and clear. To describe it, everything is in the right and proper place. Meanwhile the curve of the lights has a new interpretation to them with the rear taillights, and the C-shape, being able to shine brighter than ever. Another first in the Superb are the three light strips that compose the rear lights. This is a known characteristic of Škoda and will not be fitted with LEDs as standard.
Meanwhile, just under the boot lid are two cubist triangles. These are also extra elements of the brand’s design. This is also seen in the sheet metal of the Combi as well as how the rear taillights of the limousine are shaped.
Frank Welsch, who is a member of the brand’s board in charge of technical development, says that the designers have managed to give the Superb a customized and attractive design. Škoda revealed that the Superb will be launched, along with the Combi, during the latter part of June 2013.