“Today ŠKODA is one of the international volume manufacturers. As the most important single market in Europe, Germany makes a large contribution to the success of the company. That’s why we are particularly pleased to be able to present the ŠKODA brand world in Germany for the first time,” said ŠKODA CEO Bernhard Maier. “ŠKODA will continue its growth strategy and strengthen its brand profile further in the coming years. With the 2025 Strategy, we have set the course for the future of ŠKODA. Our SUV campaign, which we have commenced with the ŠKODA KODIAQ, is an important part of this. The brand’s first large SUV is part of the exhibition ‘What drives you?’ in addition to other exhibits on design, connectivity and sponsorship,” added Maier.
At the opening of the ‘What drives you?’ exhibition, ŠKODA CEO Bernhard Maier received the Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. The head of government was visiting Berlin to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Agreement on Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation between Germany and the Czech Republic. The agreement signed in 1992 has formed the basis of German-Czech relations since the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and the reunification of Germany. This is another reason why visiting the ŠKODA exhibition was important to Prime Minister Sobotka. The Czech car manufacturer and Volkswagen have been under one umbrella for a quarter of a century and have been setting new sales records ever since. This model of German-Czech friendship continues as a global success story.
At the DRIVE. Forum, the Prime Minister gained an impression of how the important Czech company presents itself outside of ŠKODA’s homeland, in Germany – the strongest single market in Europe – and how the more emotive brand image contributes to ŠKODA’s success.
In recent years, ŠKODA has caused a sensation with several design studies. The exciting, emotive design language is reflected in the latest models such as the upgraded ŠKODA OCTAVIA or the new ŠKODA KODIAQ in particular. The ‘What drives you?’ exhibition relates the development of the new ŠKODA Design DNA, which is defined by harmonious proportions, precise lines and clean-cut edges as well as crystalline 3D design. And talking of crystalline, visitors of DRIVE. can cut their own crystal object under the professional guidance of a Bohemian glass artist and take it home with them.
How drivers benefit when a ŠKODA model is ‘always online’ is demonstrated by the topic of connectivity. From the inductive charging of smartphones to the Wi-Fi hotspot and the wide range of ŠKODA Connect services, it provides an overview of the various connectivity solutions and illustrates the innovative systems with films, for example. At the moment, ŠKODA Connect is available for the large SUV, the KODIAQ, and the upgraded bestseller, the OCTAVIA. Soon ŠKODA will also offer the system for the FABIA, RAPID and SUPERB.
As a third section besides design and connectivity, the topic of sponsorship completes the exhibition. The top events in cycling, motorsport and ice hockey that are supported by ŠKODA enthrall millions of people around the world. In 2017, the Czech brand will spur on the Tour de France for the 14th time as official sponsor and vehicle partner. ŠKODA will appear as main sponsor at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Germany and France – for the 25th time already. The brand earned an entry in the Guinness book of records for the longest-lasting sponsorship in the history of sports world championships. Furthermore, ŠKODA is among the most successful participants on rally courses around the world. In the last year alone, ŠKODA drivers celebrated numerous successes at the wheel of the ŠKODA FABIA R5. In 2016, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm triumphed in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC 2). In addition, ŠKODA won continental championships in South America, the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. On top of that came nine national titles. Visitors to the DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum can see the FABIA R5 turbo all-wheel-drive vehicle at close quarters or test their driving skills thanks to virtual reality glasses in the rally simulator.
DRIVE. Forum, the stage to experience VW Group brands
The DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum is located on Friedrichstraße in the heart of Berlin, close to the Brandenburg Gate, and provides a stage for the total of twelve brands that are part of Volkswagen Group. On an area measuring over 4,500 m2, visitors can gain a whole new perspective on mobility and find out how the companies within the Group are dealing with the issues around the environment, sustainability, innovations, alternative drive systems, technology and design.