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Skoda plans to continue growth in 2011

By 2018, Skoda plans to double its annual sales to at least 1.5 million units. To achieve this, the company has ambitious plans to increase production across all manufacturing facilities. Škoda finished 2010 with a positive result, with sales revenue rising 22.4% to EUR 8.692 billion. The operating profit was more than doubled to 447 million EUR.

“2011 is exactly 20 years after the entry of Volkswagen – this is a year of setting the course and setting out new horizons for Škoda,” said the chairman of the board of Škoda, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland at Škoda’s annual press conference in Prague. “We began the new year very well and have seamlessly followed up on the record sales year 2010,” said the Chief Financial Officer of Škoda, Winfried Krause.

In the first two months of the 2011, worldwide sales for the brand increased by 25% (to over 132,000 vehicles) compared to last year. “We will expand our position in the markets and expect to continue our growth course this year. To do so, we plan to increase the production at Škoda locations, both in our home market of the Czech Republic as well as outside of Europe,” said Vahland.

Within the framework of the Škoda Growth Strategy developed in 2010, the company aims to double its sales to at least 1.5 million units by 2018. “We do not want to be satisfied with what we have achieved and we will shift into a higher gear. Škoda has great potential and is on the verge of a growth spurt. That applies equally to our activities in the markets and to the expansion of the model range,” Winfried Vahland emphasised.

A key element of the plan is to increase the company’s international reach. While market growth in the core European markets is anticipated to be moderate, Škoda expects a continued dynamic development in emerging countries such as China, Russia and India. “We’re charging ahead in all regions and want to participate intensively in the upswing in the booming regions of the automobile industry,” said the Škoda CEO. By the end of the decade, Škoda expects a growth of the global automobile market to an annual volume of about 85 million units: “We have good years ahead of us in the automobile industry – that provides us with additional tailwind.”

For this purpose, Škoda is investing in new products and wants to excite new customers in new market segments for the brand. A first glance of the new design language of the models was provided by the design study “Vision-D”, which was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March (2011). Later this year, the much anticipated new ‘City Car’ will be the first vehicle within the framework of the product plan to be launched in the market. Winfried Vahland: “This car is our answer to the increasingly strong demand for small affordable cars with low fuel consumption, and offers a new sales potential in Europe for us.”

In 2012, another strategic step will be taken in the model plan: a compact hatchback – positioned between the Fabia and Octavia models – will open up another high-volume segment for Škoda. All new models will continue to fulfil the brand promise ‘simply clever’ without change: practical, spacious vehicles which offer outstanding value for money.

In its growth strategy, the company builds on a healthy starting position. In 2010, sales reached a new record level of over 762,000 units. In almost all markets, Škoda was able to grow and increase market share. Škoda recorded the most dynamic development in the overseas markets of Asia (48%). In its home market of the Czech Republic, Škoda increased its stronghold to a market share of more than 34%. In Eastern Europe, sales increased 22%.

The top-selling vehicle in 2010 was the Octavia with worldwide sales of more than 350,000 units.

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