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Skoda launches Agency corporate programme based on VW template

Skoda has moved from sharing car parts with sister brand Volkswagen to sharing ideas.

The carmaker has already announced plans to extend its fledgling sponsored retailer programme to help fill 21 gaps in the network.

Now it is launching Skoda Agency, a fleet programme that will see dealers sign up as specialist corporate retailers.

Skoda Agency is a crucial part of Skoda’s attack on the corporate market as it looks to raise its fleet business from 38% of sales to 50% over the next three years.

Under the new programme, Skoda will transact directly with leasing companies while 30 ‘level one’ agents will fulfil contracts in return for a fixed handling fee.

They employ dedicated staff to service customers with a consistent standard nationwide.

In addition to Agency, Skoda has 32 fleet specialists who tackle the larger fleets, typically above 25 cars.

They stock more demonstrators than the average retailer and are given additional financial support, leads and training.

Previously, Skoda’s corporate aspirations have been curtailed due to funding restrictions and a lack of a consistent service from dealers.

That’s why it has now adopted Agency.

“Our Agency dealers will be our preferred suppliers and they will get the bulk of our volume,” said David Ovenden, Skoda head of operations.

“The rest of the network will be level two – if an end user wants a local dealer to supply the product, they can do this.

In addition, all dealers can still sell cars to local fleets and will be paid on their targets.

“Agency is key because it takes away funding issues, such as delivery charges and stocking costs, for dealers which offset profits.”

Skoda is looking to grow to 58,000 UK sales – 2.5% market share – by 2011, up from 42,000 this year, with a network of 152 retailers, 21 more than now.

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