Ever hear of the brand Skoda? Probably not, and it’s not your fault. It is a small automaker that’s based in the Czech Republic and is owned by Volkswagen AG. Basically, they get by producing cars that are essentially restyled or reengineered Audis and Volkswagens. But they’re also on the more affordable side, winning some positive remarks throughout the European market as of recent.
For example, the Skoda Superb, is not just trying to loosely exude excellence without any substance just from its name. Top Gear UK, one of the hardest car outlets to impress, even went as far as calling the Superb an honest Audi A6 competitor, but for nearly half the price. The story is pretty much the same for the rest of the cars Skoda makes. The only thing with the Superb sedan is, we’re not sure as to why they’re calling it the Superb Hatch.
Anyway, because Skoda’s marking well in their respective home market, Volkswagen and Skoda themselves are debating on whether it’s a good idea or not to start expanding and selling cars in the U.S. market.
German auto publication, Handelsblatt, reports Skoda could make the final decision in 2017.
“During the next year, we want to have the question of North America decided for us,” Skoda’s CEO, Bernhard Maier, told Handelsblatt.
Skoda’s lineup currently consists of the Citigo (based on the Volkswagen Up!) and Fabia (based on Volkswagen Polo) hatchbacks; the Octavia (based on the Volkswagen Golf) and Rapid (based on the Volkswagen Jetta); and the Yeti compact SUV (based on the Volkswagen Tiguan); with the Skoda Superb being based off of the Volkswagen Passat.
The company also managed to spawn their own performance sub-brand, referred to as vRS, which Skoda markets as the equivalent to Audi’s S and Volkswagen’s R performance lines.
Some outside speculation suggests that Volkswagen is looking to offer some of its other brands to pick up the slack they lost from sales affected by Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal. The thought here is that in theory, Volkswagen could offset the sales deficit selling cars under another brand, or at least, one that’s not tainted by the bad reputation set forth by the scandal, something that continues to hit headlines today.
Skoda was acquired by Volkswagen AG in 1991 and since then, pursued marketing their cars in overseas markets aggressively and with success, becoming a major player in places like China.
Do you think Skoda would make a good fit for the U.S. market?
– By: Chris Chin