Skoda is developing ways to encourage more people to test-drive its cars as it targets 50,000 sales by 2005. Rob Tracey, Skoda UK director, believes future growth will hinge on giving people access to a wider range of models.
“It's no good customers having the choice of one demonstrator at a dealership – we need a thought-out plan to improve availability,” he said.
“This will include extended test drives over several days, giving customers a chance to fully appraise the car.” Skoda will ensure dealers can source a wide range of demonstrator models from its own stocks, allowing customers to test the engine of their choice.
Mr Tracey is confident sales would reach 35,000 this year, rising to 40,000 in 2002 and 50,000 by 2005, with a growing emphasis on corporate business.
“We have come through the prejudice against the brand and have finally got to the point we were trying to reach 10 years ago – 50,000 sales is heading towards our natural level,” he said.
“We have come a long way since 1993 when Campaign magazine described Skoda as 'the brand from hell'.” (October 11, 2001)