Škoda overcomplicated its terms of business and over-stretched its retail network towards the end of 2014, leading to some dealer backlash and missed targets.
Profitability suffered, the network is being forced to invest in a new corporate identity, and despite its 14% rise in new car volumes and record 3% market share, dealers rated it bottom for franchise value in the Winter 2015 NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey, with a score of 4.1 out of 10.
Škoda director Alasdair Stewart insists the issues have been ironed out and morale is on the up. The franchise is buoyed by fleet demand for the new Superb and its Octavia models. Fabia, Rapid and Yeti continue to win retail custom, and a second SUV is expected to join the range from 2016.
Škoda’s network has reduced in a decade by almost 20% to 130 sales points and boasts new investors such as Vantage Motor Group, Vertu Motors and Marriott Motor Group.