Skoda believes that a calculated positioning in the market of the new Superb will help it become a mainstream fleet player.
Intended as a rival to the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia, the Superb has been positioned as a five-door hatchback and had its trim levels redefined in an effort to appeal to fleets.
The move follows advice from residual value companies that have been consulted well in advance of the car’s launch.
They recommended that the Comfort and Style trim levels on the outgoing Superb be replaced with more familiar S and SE designations.
And although the Superb looks like a saloon car, its new TwinDoor boot system means it can also be described as a hatchback.
“Superb is key in terms of us becoming a serious fleet player,” said Martin Burke, Skoda’s head of business sales.
“Because of the twin tailgate we have got the car positioned as a five-door hatch, so that gets us entry into the largest sector for fleet.
“It’s an area where we have not really had a product offering before and the hatch traditionally commands a 2-3% stronger RV than a saloon.
“We really see this allowing us to grow up in the fleet world and become a mainstream player.
"We have been on the outside looking in with great products but not quite on everybody’s list.
"But in the current economic climate people are looking at fleet costs and green issues and we tick all the right boxes.”
Skoda is aiming to get as many people into the new Superb as possible to raise awareness of the brand, as it aims to achieve 2.5% of overall fleet sales by 2012.
The arrival next year of the Yeti small SUV will broaden the range and, Mr Burke hopes, introduce yet more people to the Czech marque.
“We need to punch above our weight and make a bigger song and dance about what we bring,” he said.