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2014 will see Skoda's global sales break the million mark

Skoda expects to end this year with global sales of between 950-980,000, confident that the figure could top the one million mark for the first time in its history in 2014 as it heads towards its target of 1.5m sales by 2018.

But, after a hectic seven product launches this year, next year will be quieter with the main event being new Fabia towards the end of the year.

Even so there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about hitting one million sales, according to Skoda. Most hope rests on a full year of Octavia sales; the car, launched in spring this year, has been well received and is expected to be the marque's best-seller next year when Fabia is in its run out phase.

In the UK, Skoda is predicting that Octavia sales will climb from around 10,000 to 17,000 in 2014.

The UK, where sales to the end of October of 55,200 already outstrip 2012's efforts, is now Skoda's fourth largest global market behind China, Russia and Germany.

The launch this month of the Rapid Spaceback - the five-door version of the saloon launched a year ago - is expected to accelerate ŠKODA's sales momentum. Full year Rapid sales are predicted to be between 10-12,000 with Spaceback accounting for 6-8,000.

Skodas are still bought mostly by private buyers with fleet and small business sales 45 per cent of total sales. So the carmaker is relaunching its ‘Fit for Fleet' initiative first launched 18 months ago. The scheme is aimed at helping local retailers find and contact local businesses.

More training and investment will be put behind the scheme this time round when it is rolled out through 30 of the Skoda's 134 retailers.

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