AM Online

New-look Skoda aims to double in size

A major development plan is set to double the size of Skoda operations in Britain over the next few years.

A new corporate identity has been revealed, including a modernised emblem, contemporary typeface and fresh white and green colour scheme that will give a new look to every outlet in the UK dealer network within the next 18 months.

It aims to send a signal globally that Skoda is serious about growth. It
wants to top 1 million sales worldwide and, as part of that plan, Skoda UK is tasked with achieving annual registration volumes of around 80,000 between 2015 and 2018.

Last year, it achieved 41,200 UK registrations – a record that included 17,020 units in the fleet sector, another record figure for Skoda.
Director Robert Hazelwood said: “It might seem to be a tall order, but the key to this growth is the fact that a number of very clear things are happening to the brand.

“We are seeing increases in general awareness and the tracking analysis we carry out is reflecting higher con-sideration levels, especially in the
fleet arena.”

Recent range expansion has been very well received by the public and the media, including the Yeti and Superb Estate. Skoda has gone from being a three-car brand to a five-car brand and its range will grow to seven cars in the next three years.

Hazelwood said its products already span prices from just under £10,000
to £30,000 to cover the biggest volume market segments and the two forthcoming cars, a city car and a C-segment hatch, will put Skoda into new market segments.

“We can achieve the volumes outlined in the plan,” he added.

Dealers saw the next Octavia along with mid-life makeover versions of the Superb range during a trip to Prague last month when the company
revealed its plan for UK market expansion along with its network development strategy.

As revealed in AM’s September 2010 issue, Skoda UK has a strategy to
bring on board more regional and national groups with the financial
clout to operate bigger dealerships in more prominent locations.

In recent months Arnold Clark and Lookers have begun Skoda sales, while other new partners include Wayside, Citygate and Sinclair Group.
Due to go live in the next 18 months, Skoda’s new corporate identity was hailed as blending modernity with tradition when it was unveiled at
Geneva by Skoda president Winfried Vahland.

“Actual costs for dealers are yet to be finalised, but as ever, our focus
will be on making everything simple and affordable.

“Our aim is to offer a greatly improved appearance for the consumer and a modern sales environment that is not over costly,” said Hazelwood.

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