› Brand celebrates production jubilee with partner Shanghai Volkswagen
› Around 740,000 ŠKODA cars delivered to customers in China since July 2007
› China is brand’s largest single market since 2010; one in four ŠKODAs sold goes to a customer in China
› ŠKODA Rapid and ŠKODA Yeti to expand China offering from 2013
› Company says it will further enlarge production capacity and sales presence
› China has central importance for ŠKODA’s 2018 growth strategy
Shanghai/Mladá Boleslav, July 5th, 2012 – ŠKODA celebrates five years of successful automobile production in China. Exactly 60 months after production of the ŠKODA Octavia began at Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW)’s premises, the company presents an impressive track record, having sold around 740,000 cars and soon to top the magical mark of 750,000 cars built locally.
China is ŠKODAs largest individual market, accounting for 25 per cent of the brand’s worldwide sales. Currently, ŠKODA’s dealer network is about 400 strong with plans to increase this number to over 600 mid-term. Over the past five years, the brand has been expanding by leaps and bounds in China. ŠKODA now aims to shift up a gear in the years ahead thanks to new models, expanded production capacity and strengthened dealer presence. This underscores China’s importance for the brand’s growth strategy.
“For us, the past five years have been a success story without any other,” says ŠKODA CEO Winfried Vahland. “Together with our Chinese partners, we have raised the pace in all areas and turned the market into ŠKODA’s largest sales market with just three models. China has become a second home for ŠKODA,” says Vahland. “We have set the stage for further growth as we intend to raise our global sales to at least 1.5 million a year by 2018. This is why we will be introducing new models in the Chinese market from 2013. We will also be strengthening our sales presence and cooperating under the roof of Volkswagen Group and our joint venture partners to further increase capacities in China.”
Around 740,000 ŠKODAs delivered, successful cooperation with SVW
In just five years, ŠKODA together with its partner Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW) delivered around 740,000 cars to customers. Soon, the 750,000th ŠKODA will roll off the line at SVW. “These are figures that make us proud because they show the capability of our entire team,” says ŠKODA CEO Vahland. “In 2007, ŠKODA was a manufacturer focussed on Europe. Only five years later, we have delivered around 740,000 cars to customers, a fantastic achievement for our company. We have established ŠKODA as a brand in just a few years in a market that is extremely competitive both in terms of quality and quantity,” says Vahland.
ŠKODA has been building on a close cooperation with Shanghai Volkswagen since the beginning of its activities in China. “SVW has been a reliable and competent partner for ŠKODA. We are grateful to SVW for a good and trusting cooperation over the past five years and we are looking forward to opening the next chapter of our Chinese success story with them,” says Vahland. SVW was founded in 1984. The company operates one of the most modern production facilities in China.
ŠKODA deliveries in China in more than eightfold increase since 2007
The start of production of ŠKODA’s Octavia model in July 2007 was the beginning of one of the most impressive development in recent automobile history. Between 2007 and 2011, ŠKODA increased its annual deliveries to customers in China about eightfold. From just over 27,000 cars in 2007, the brand’s deliveries rose to 220,000 in 2011. Numbers continued their upward trend in the first five months of 2012, with deliveries to customers in China rising by eight per cent to a new high of over 100,000 units.
China has been the brand’s strongest individual market since 2010 and has been so with only three models. The first model built and sold in the country was the Octavia in 2007. At almost half a million units produced, the Octavia is the most popular ŠKODAmodel in China.Since 2010, the Octavia has also been available in China as an environment-friendly Green Line version and as Octavia RS in a sporty guise.
The Fabia saw its Chinese sales debut in 2008. This subcompact has also been available in China in an off-road version called the Fabia Scout.
ŠKODA’s flagship the Superb has been sold in the Chinese market since 2009. In 2011, it became the top seller in the premier middle class. China also accounted for over 40 per cent of the 116,800 Superbs sold worldwide, making it the biggest market for this model. In late 2011, China also saw a ŠKODA Superb 1.4 TSI DSG complete a record-breaking journey for the first time, when a car drove from Shanghai to Beijing, or over 1,200 kilometres, on less than one tank filling.
ŠKODAmodels are proving hugely popular with customers in China, with the Fabia, Octavia and Superb regularly receiving important awards, including the Octavia being voted most dependable car in its class in 2011. Octavia and Superb were both chosen ‘Car of the Year’ as part of the ‘China Auto Market Media Award’ in 2011. The brand has also steadily gained renown in China across models, such as when ŠKODAwas named joint venture brand with the most growth potential in West China by ‘Sina Cars’ and several dailies in 2011. In May 2012, SVW-ŠKODAreceived the ‘Best Customer Car Award’.
China: growth with new models
In 2013, ŠKODA will be introducing two additional ŠKODA models in China, namely its new compact saloon the Rapid and its compact SUV ŠKODA Yeti. “Our new compact saloon and the Yeti will broaden our palette in China from three to five models. The new models will give our brand an added push in China from 2013,” Vahland says.
“The ŠKODA Rapid will consistently improve and expand our favourable position in China,” says CEO Vahland. “The Rapid is an attractive car in the segment between the Fabia and the Octavia, offering lots of room at an attractive price. Our customers in China will love the Rapid.” ŠKODA is expecting added sales momentum from next year’s China debut of the ŠKODA Yeti. Since its introduction in 2009, the Yeti has proved extremely popular in international markets, posting the strongest percentage growth of all ŠKODA model lines at almost 35 per cent in 2011. “The Yeti is certain to hold its own in China and to contribute to the brand’s growth,” Vahland underlines.
Five years of ŠKODA production in China – data and facts
Summer 2007: launch of Octavia production
2008: Fabia launched
2009: Superb launched
2010: Octavia GreenLine, Octavia RS launched
2011: Fabia Scout launched
Number of cars sold by model line, January through May 2012:
Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW)
Growth of ŠKODA deliveries to customers in China:
2012 (January – May)
Awards received in 2011 and 2012:
China Auto Fashion Mark of Clever Innovation and Technology (Shanghai Morning Post)
China Auto Fashion Mark of Fashion and Hard Style (Shanghai Morning Post)
Best Customer Car Award
Best Service Car Brand of the Year in Guangzhou sub-rating (Guangzhou Daily)
China Car Service Gold Award – Best Customer Loyalty Award (Car and driving maintenance)
Best Service Car Brand – Human Touch (Evening News)
Most Potential Joint Venture Brand in Western China (Sina Cars)
Sohu Gold Marketing Award – Best Entertainment Award (Sohu)