Yeti leads Skoda growth spurtFri, 19 Sep 2008 00:00:00 -0700
By Tim Pollard
19 September 2008 14:47
Skoda is secretly planning to double its range of cars in three years. Today the Czech manufacturer has a four-strong range: Fabia supermini, Octavia family car, Superb saloon and roomy Roomster. But by 2011 it’ll have a tiny Smart-like city car, a new small four-door, the Yeti junior off-roader and a seven-seater MPV.
CAR's already revealed the bones of Skoda's expansion plans (check our original Skoda scoop here), but now we've fleshed out more details and more accurate timings.
First to arrive is the new Yeti, in UK showrooms in autumn 2009. It lands at the 2009 Geneva motor show and will remain remarkably faithful to the concept car pictured above. It's based on the hardware snaffled from the VW parts bin, with a mix of Polo and Golf component sets.
Why not use the VW Tiguan parts for the Skoda Yeti?
Because that would be too pricey for a bargain-basement Skoda. The Yeti will offer front- and four-wheel drive and offer a range of engines stretching from 105bhp to 160bhp for the more luxurious upper echelons.
Skoda marketing bods are playing around with trim level names for the new Yeti, CAR has discovered. Instead of the traditional Classic, Ambiente and Elegance tags, they're considering wackier monster-inspired badges such as 'Big Foot'. Seriously.
It's all go at Volkswagen's Czech outpost. The new November 2008 issue of CAR Magazine – out on Wednesday 24 September – publishes a dossier all about the new Skodas in the pipeline, but highlights include:
Facelifted Octavia at the Paris motor show
Yeti junior 4x4
New Jetta-based small saloon built in China
Skoda's MPV, shares DNA with Touran
Estate version of the Superb 'hatchaloon'
New petrol Fabia vRS
Skoda's version of the Up, even cheaper than the VW
'According to our motto "Simply Clever", we always want to offer more product for the money,' says the German Skoda MD Reinhard Jung. 'This strategy works well for the Superb, and it will work in other segments, too.'
He has every right to be a confident man. Skoda sales hit a record 630,000 in 2007 – and they're already 18 percent up in the first half of 2008.
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By Tim Pollard