Expect a new or revised model every six months on average from Skoda until 2016. The Czech brand hatched the plan as a bid to contribute to its parent Volkswagen Group's target of becoming the best-selling global carmaker. In a statement, Skoda said that its sales dropped 2 percent in 2013 to 920,800 cars, no thanks to a still slumping European market and a production switch to new models in the first half.
The Czech carmaker saw its deliveries in December 2013 jump 6 percent to 70,000 vehicles, thanks to a 52-percent sales surge by its Octavia compact lineup.
New versions of the Octavia that were rolled out to showrooms in November 2012, helped Skoda's full-year sales in Western Europe jump 3 percent. Skoda posted a 3-percent jump in sales in Germany and a 24-percent climb in the United Kingdom.
The brand, however, dropped 9 percent in sales eastern Europe in 2013, 12 percent in Russia, and 4 percent in China. With increasing sales in the second half of 2013, Skoda earlier disclosed that it was on pace to post 1 million vehicle sales in 2014, which is a step closer to its target of reaching annual sales of 1.5 million by 2018.
"Our attractive model range, good flow of incoming orders and increasingly bright future on the European automotive markets make us confident for 2014," Skoda chief executive Winfried Vahland said in the statement.
Skoda is currently penetrating China and other developing economies to offset a fall in industry-wide sales in Europe. Skoda’s growth plan is part of Volkswagen's target of surpassing General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. and become the biggest carmaker in the world by 2018.
Škoda shared that the third generation of the Octavia is projected to set new standards particularly in the compact class. With a number of interesting features, this latest offering from the brand will solidify the model’s already unique place in its segment. The amount of space being offered is truly unmatched with an accompanying high functionality.
Included in the new Octavia are different advanced comfort and safety systems. There are also various “Simply Clever” solutions with the outside revealing a new design. Fuel consumption remains to be low and this new model continues to have that usual price-value ratio. When it comes to the overall package, the Octavia has always been about giving a little extra.
Thus aside from the ample amount of space being offered, it has that elegant saloon shape that is mixed with the practical advantages offered by a large hatch. This combination is considered as rather unique especially for its segment. Further, the newest version simply confirms the uniqueness many people already known.
Frank Welsch, who is Škoda’s Board Member for Technical Development, shares that the new Octavia is continuing on the path that Škoda has been on. This is a model that has middle-class qualities, he continues, but with the price of a compact car. He adds that this new model is best for customers who are demanding but at the same time confident.
This is the best to come from the company, Welsch says further, and is a contemporary Octavia that continues to have all the good values. Škoda CEO Winfried Vahland meanwhile reveals that the heart of the brand has always been the Octavia. It has everything one would expect from a Škoda model. He goes on to say that it offers a large amount of room, shows precise workmanship, and displays a timeless design.
It is modern, has top quality, and comes with high functionality, Vahland continues. He says that it has the best price-value ratio. CEO Vahland continues by saying that the expectations of the brand’s customers have been increasing and for the third generation of this model, the brand wanted it to be even better. Indeed, all of this can be seen in the values of this new offering, making the Octavia belong to a class all on its own, he concludes.