Škoda has set out plans to sell one-in-five of its car online by 2025 as part of its new ‘Next Level – Škoda Strategy 2030’.
Škoda Auto chief executive Thomas Schäfer set out the detail of the plan, which will aim to propel the Czech car brand to be Europe’s fifth best-selling car brand, in a virtual presentation yesterday (June 24) afternoon.
As part of the plan, the Volkswagen Group-owned OEM will launch three new electric vehicles (EV) to be sold alongside its newly-launched Enyaq SUV.
Despite the recent axing of its Citigo small hatchback, it will also aim to strengthen its position in the entry-level segments.
Schäfer said: “With our new Next Level – Škoda Strategy 2030, we are providing specific answers on how we will successfully steer Škoda Auto through the transformation process and ensure that the company will be in an even stronger position in 2030 than it is today.
“The brand has incredible potential. We will be leveraging this in the coming years and setting ourselves ambitious goals; we aim to be one of the top five car manufacturers in Europe in terms of sales.
“Škoda is entering this exciting future from a position of strength, and I am looking forward to working with our team of over 43,000 Škodians worldwide and our social partner KOVO to take our company to the next level in the years ahead.”
Last year Škoda’s UK retailers helped the brand to outperform a COVID-19 impacted market down 29.4% overall to deliver 58,693 registrations, down 21.8% on 2019’s 75,053.
Year-to-date to the end of May, it has delivered a 46.7% rise in registrations, to 26,169 (2020: 17,840), in a market up by 42.5%.
Škoda’s virtual showroom concept and online car sales will be central to its future retail strategy, according to a statement about its 2030 plan.
It said: “The company is expanding its virtual showroom concept and has set itself the goal of selling one in five Škodas online as early as 2025.
“Customers in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic are already taking advantage of this option today.”
The move will be facilitated by a shift to an agency franchised retail model.
Car retail partners of Volkswagen Group brands have already been informed of a switch to agency-style agreements for EV models.
The process is set to be completed by 2023.
Škoda also has plans to lower its CO2 footprint and introduce more women to senior leadership roles.
The company aims to reduce its fleet emissions by more than 50% compared to 2020 and will be manufacturing vehicles with net-zero carbon emissions at all Czech and Indian plants from 2030 onwards, it said.
The 2030 strategy also stipulates that, by 2030, a quarter of its management positions will be held by a woman.
Škoda is also aiming to drive profits through a process of focusing on efficiency and simplicity, it said.
The OEM said: “The aim is to attain cost leadership among core European competitors, coupled with a sustainable return on sales of at least 8% as the target figure.
“At the same time, the company is consistently simplifying its processes, reducing bureaucracy and complexity in order to become even more agile.
“For example, by gradually electrifying the model range, the complexity of the offering is to be reduced by 40% in the medium term.”