Fleet News

Octavia leads Skoda's push into fleet market

NEXT year will be one of the most important years for Skoda UK as it bids to take the brand into the fleet market for the first time. The personnel are prepared and the infrastructure in place.

The move comes following a record 1998 for the brand as UK sales smashed through the 20,000 mark for the first time last month. This year's 11-month sales total is 20,817 - up 31% year-on-year. But while it may be the 'new kid on the block' Skoda is confident it has the pedigree, thanks in no small part to its ownership by Volkswagen, and the product to win its place alongside the big league dominated by Vauxhall and Ford and in time will stand alone, promoting its cars without reference to its German parent company.

To lead the battle for fleet business Skoda has appointed John Rooney as Skoda UK business sales manager and Chris Hawken is the new marketing manager for the UK division, joining from Volkswagen where he was fleet marketing manager. Rooney joined Skoda officially on December 1 from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles where he held the post of national fleet development manager since 1997.

If the Octavia is to be the success Skoda believes it should be then the company must get into the fleet business. Skoda expects to sell up to 10,000 Octavias next year - just how many will be available to fleets will be announced in January, but it will be a sizeable proportion.

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