The ŠKODA KAMIQ Meets the Press

The ŠKODA KAMIQ Meets the Press

Models KAMIQ

When you are buying a car, you usually go to the dealer for a test drive. Before this, you decide and collect information on a particular car. This information is often sourced from motoring journalists’ reviews. ŠKODA Storyboard took a peek behind the scenes at an event designed to acquaint journalists with the new ŠKODA KAMIQ.

5. 9. 2019

The ŠKODA KAMIQ was showcased in Strasbourg, France, and the surrounding area in the second half of August. Over the space of two weeks, it was examined at length by more than 650 journalists from all over Europe. They could take their pick of 48 variously coloured cars featuring three different engines and both manual and automatic transmission.

“This event is the first opportunity for the general public – through the media – to learn about how the new car handles and what it is capable of,” says Pavel Jína, the ŠKODA spokesperson responsible for the KAMIQ, as he explains the significance of holding a dynamic presentation. Every day, some 70 drivers – journalists – take their turn at the wheel.

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Pavel Jína
ŠKODA spokesperson responsible for the KAMIQ

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Petr Kavrentzis
ŠKODA communication department, responsible for press cars

The hard work does not start with the transportation of cars by lorry to the event venue. Before that, the prep team has to explore the area. “We identify local routes that will show off the car’s handling, expose chassis details, and allow drivers to try out the advanced driver-assistance systems and the sporty chassis settings,” says Petr Kavrentzis, responsible for press cars at the ŠKODA communication department, as he reels off the preparatory tasks.

The upshot of this work is a set of routes which are recommended to journalists when they take their turn and are entered in the car’s navigation system. When you are dealing with a lot of cars and driver switches, this is a time saver. As a rule, each option combines urban traffic, a country road and a motorway. Naturally, sites have been pinpointed along the way for some decent photographs or filming.

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It is because of all the cameras that, before each drive, every car is cleaned to remove any smudges or dirt. “Obviously, it’s the wheels that get the most dirty, but we clean everything outside and in,” explains Kavrentzis. Occasionally we need to sort out the odd scratch – stone chips in the main. When you have almost 50 cars, you need a similar number of people to look after them. Besides cleaning, they make sure the vehicles have plenty of fuel and, where necessary, they can provide minor servicing.

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The journalists, or perhaps more accurately test drivers at this point, spend roughly a day with the car. In that short space of time, they managed to clock up hundreds of kilometres – enough mileage to tell professionals a lot about the properties of the car they are testing and how it stacks up against the competition. This is part and parcel of the job for many journalists and they have their own routine when it comes to testing cars.

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“They might test the space available on the front and rear seats, examine the size of the boot and how easy it is to access, or take a look at the storage compartments,” says spokesperson Petr Jína. “Journalists ask a lot of questions about engines and connectivity. This time around, they were particularly curious about Laura, the digital voice assistant,” says Jína as he explains what journalists most commonly ask about. At an organised test-driving event, the ŠKODA experts who helped to develop the car also answer questions. This gives journalists insightful and detailed information, for example, about the development of the engines or electronics, the infotainment, connectivity, and product marketing, which they can then pass on to their readers and viewers. Some of them engage in discussions with the experts on the details of their work.

What impressions did journalists take home with them about the ŠKODA KAMIQ after the test drives? “They applauded the way the chassis had been configured and how much rear-seat space there was,” says Pavel Jína as he describes their reactions. “Compared to the model’s competition, they were very also very positive about the connectivity and they were surprised how much power the 1.0 TSI engines were able to deliver,” he concludes. The test cars featured one-litre petrol engines with a capacity of 70 or 85 kW. The range of engines was rounded off by the diesel-powered 85 kW 1.6 TDI.

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The journalists themselves back up Jína’s words. “It’s bigger than I thought,” says a voice from the crowd that had gathered during a break between drives. “It handles really well,” says another. These journalists could well find themselves face-to-face with the cars again very soon. Following the dynamic presentation, the vehicles are being handed over to importers so that further media tests can be run in individual countries.

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