Volkswagen Group is nearing a decision on whether to build new SUVs for Skoda and Seat at a site in the Czech Republic or Spain, a Skoda union leader has disclosed. Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes has reported that the group had selected its Skoda's local plant over Seat's Spanish site for the new SUV, adding that an announcement should expected Friday.
Jarolsav Povsik, leader of Skoda's union group and a supervisory board member at the carmaker, told Reuters that no decision had been made, adding that Skoda officials will meet VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn on Friday. According to Mlada Fronta Dnes, VW had already decided for production to commence at Skoda at the end of 2015.
Production will be for both the Skoda and Seat brands. VW is adopting a new strategy to boost the image and appeal of its Skoda and Seat brands, shifting the Czech marque back upmarket and refocusing the Spanish brand on Europe. Skoda and Seat generated 13 percent of VW's 9.7 million record sales in 2013.
Czech financial daily Hospodarske Noviny has reported that Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Industry Minister Jan Mladek would go Friday to VW's Wolfsburg HQ in Germany to lobby for the SUV's output in the Czech Republic. In December 2013, Automobilwoche reported that sources at VW had said the group could produce an SUV for Seat at Skoda's Kvasin site in the Czech Republic, where production costs are much lower than at Seat’s Martorell site in Spain. [source: Reuters]