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Growth planned for Skoda and Volkswagen

Significant fresh product launches provided dream debuts for Volkswagen Group’s two new UK market executives at the Geneva motor show.

Volkswagen director Chris Craft and Robert Hazelwood, his replacement at Skoda, both forecast continued sales expansion after the wraps came off the Volkswagen Scirocco sports coupe and the next-generation Skoda Superb.

“Our brand has a great track record in growing its volume and share in the UK. It has also seen an improvement in retail profitability and I see my role as making sure this continues.

“Even though we are number three in the marketplace, we’re confident of increased volume potential because more great product is coming through to take us into new segments. Our registrations reached 194,000 last year and I’ve no hesitation in saying that 200,000 is on the cards for this year,” Craft told AM.

Added Hazelwood: “After 40,000 sales in 2007, Skoda has now convinced a lot of people about the integrity of the brand, its build quality and the service provided by its network.

“I see my job as building on that by maintaining the quality of our network and taking full advantage of products like the new Superb. It’s a stunner – we’re still discussing prices but it will certainly be affordable in UK showrooms.”

Said Volkswagen UK managing director Robin Woolcock: “We’ve enjoyed great success over the last seven years and we’re all working to keep it going. But it does help when represent brands that keep on introducing the kind of cars that people want to buy.”

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