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2014 – A ŠKODA Year in Review – Magazine Part of Annual Report

2014 - A ŠKODA Year in Review - Magazine Part of Annual Report

Simply
Emotions
2014
Outstanding expertise and great passion.
A gift for improvisation and innovative strength.
Enthusiasm and motivation.
A focus on the essential and an eye for detail:
for close to 120 years now, it has
been people who have built our success.
ŠKODA – Simply Emotions
Preamble
“ Product initiative, inter­
nationalization, soaring
demand in many markets:
All of these aspects increase
the complexity in procure­
ment. Our goal is to purchase
top quality for our Company
at the best price attainable.
This can only be achieved by
close supplier relations.
I cannot imagine a more
fascinating task.”
Zdenek Chudoba, Coordinator,
Procurement of Wiring Harnesses, Climatic Parts
and Panorama Roof Systems, Purchasing
Purchasing
Purchasing
6 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Technical DeveloPmenT
72014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ At our new engine test centre
in Mladá Boleslav, we have
access to state­of­the­art test
technologies. The great exper­
tise in drivetrain engineering
is a tradition at ŠKODA.
The new setup allows us to
become a strong partner for
engine development and test­
ing within the Volkswagen
Group. This is what I am
fully committed to.”
Dipl. Ing. Ondrěj Dostál, MBA, Head of Aggregate Testing,
Technical Development
Technical DeveloPmenT
8 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ Every day, ŠKODA’s global
success puts me in touch
with interesting people from
different countries. I find this
fascinating and inspiring.
My family and friends have
a very favourable impression
of the company I work for –
this matters to me as well.
I am part of the ŠKODA team
with heart and soul.”
Jana Umáčená, Personal Assistant to the CEO,
Office of the Chairman of the Board of Management
office of The chairman of The boarD of managemenT
92014 – A ŠKODA year in review
10 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
112014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ To build and sell over one
million cars – this means
a considerable additional de­
mand for workers at ŠKODA.
In the short term, temporary
workers provide relief;
and many of them can be
offered permanent employ­
ment. Being able to provide
a solid career option to
so many people is a task in
which I take great pride.”
Peter Podprocký, MSc., Expert Coordinator, Temporary
Employment, Human Resources
human resources
12 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ In Logistics Planning, a part
of our job is to bring toge ther
different people and their
tasks in a constructive man­
ner – with head and heart.
Each day is full of surpris­
es. Sometimes things change
within a matter of five min­
utes. In these cases, we have
to act quickly and also effec­
tively – which can be a real
challenge. I love this job!”
Lucie Heczková, Coordinator, Logistics Planning Vehicles,
Production
ProDucTion
132014 – A ŠKODA year in review
14 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
152014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ I have been with ŠKODA for
more than 20 years, and I
would definitely say it’s the
best employer in the Czech
Republic. When I joined the
Company, ŠKODA produced
200,000 vehicles per year
and three model variants.
By 2014, the Company had
grown to one million vehi­
cles and seven model series.
At ŠKODA, every employee
counts; and I am proud to be
part of this success story.”
Květa Bartoníčková Moličová, Project Coordinator,
Commercial Affairs
commercial affairs
16 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ ŠKODA is on the fast track,
and the brand is developing
extremely dynamically.
We support this development
by concisely steering the
individual markets and by
consistently implementing our
global marketing. This is
how we give people a way to
truly experience the ŠKODA
brand all around the world.
The future belongs to
ŠKODA, and I am delighted
about having a part
in shaping this future.”
Thanh Vu Tran, Head of International Marketing,
Sales and Marketing
sales anD markeTing
172014 – A ŠKODA year in review
sales anD markeTing
18 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review18 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland
Chairman of the Board of Management
192014 – A ŠKODA year in review
foreworD
2014 was a very successful year with new record results for
ŠKODA. We continued our model initiative and, as a first in
our company’s almost 120-year history, we produced over one
million vehicles and delivered them to customers worldwide
– a new milestone for our brand. So 23 years after joining the
Volkswagen Group, ŠKODA has secured a lasting spot in the
volume segments of the international car markets. Sales and
operating income reached a new record high as well.
The results achieved in 2014 attest the great strength of the
ŠKODA brand and the high level of acceptance our cars enjoy.
The most comprehensive model initiative in our corporate histo-
ry is having more and more effect. Over the past four years, we
have rejuvenated our product range and expanded it into new
segments; at seven model series and over 40 model variants,
we are now offering the most attractive ŠKODA portfolio of all
time – ranging from our city runabout, the ŠKODA Citigo, to our
flagship, the ŠKODA Superb.
We are going to keep up the momentum along our path. In 2014,
we set the course: The ŠKODA design study VisionC was one of
the stars of last year’s Geneva Motor Show, giving an outlook of
the new, modern and more emotional ŠKODA design language.
The first series model to feature elements of this new design
language, the new ŠKODA Fabia – our young and snappy small
car – is popular with customers all around the world.
ŠKODA’s ongoing success would not be possible without the
vast expertise and untiring dedication of our close to 25,000
employees. The past years’ unparalleled race to catch up with
the competition has been a joint accomplishment of the entire
Team ŠKODA. In all areas of the company – in development and
sales, production and administration, design and motorsports –
the people who work for ŠKODA share a passion for their brand
and are willing to do what it takes to make it succeed.
Committed, highly skilled, with an exceptional team spirit, lots
of emotion and enthusiasm for the automobile: These people
are true believers. They are, as we say, true ŠKODIANS, people
with ‘green blood in their veins’. There is hardly another company
whose employees are so emotionally attached to their company
and brand. This is why this magazine focuses on our employees.
Their emotions make all the difference. Simply Emotions.
Growth requires new models, and the unrivalled product high-
light of the year is going to be launched very soon: the new
ŠKODA Superb – the best ŠKODA of all time. Our new flagship
heralds a new era for ŠKODA.
Our top model is a completely new development that revolu-
tionizes the ŠKODA design. It also comes with the most spa-
cious interior in the segment and the Volkswagen Group’s in-
novative MQB technology. This model will help ŠKODA tap into
new customer groups, expand market shares, and strengthen
the brand’s position in the global markets. We expect the new
ŠKODA Superb to be popular with success-oriented private cus-
tomers as well as business and fleet customers, thus under-
scoring our growth ambitions as much as pointing the way to
the future of the brand.
As you can see, ŠKODA is stepping up its ambition, striving to
place top-quality models at the top of their respective segments.
ŠKODA’s well-known brand values – such as functionality, spa-
ciousness and excellent value for money – are strengthened
further with the offer of improved performance data. ŠKODA
aims at offering the best cars in the respective fields – cars that
stand for the high value, rich tradition and future orientation of
the brand while at the same time raising its popularity.
ŠKODA is on the right track. We have to deal with challenging
markets and need to make up for the effects of various crises.
Nevertheless, we have good reason to be confident: In close co-
operation with Europe’s leading automotive group, Volkswagen,
with new models and a top team, we will continue to build on
the success story of our brand in the future.
Yours
Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland
Chairman of the Board of Management
20 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
ŠKODA AUTO Board of Management
Dr. Ing. Frank Welsch
Board Member for
Technical Development
Dieter Seemann
Board Member
for Purchasing
Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland
Chairman of the Board
of Management
212014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Ing. Bohdan Wojnar
Board Member
for Human Resources
Dipl.-Ing. Michael Oeljeklaus
Board Member for
Production and Logistics
Dipl. Kfm. Winfried Krause
Board Member for
Commercial Affairs
Werner Eichhorn
Board Member for
Sales and Marketing
ŠKODA AUTO Board of Management
22 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
16 Unique by request
Making their car one of a kind is what many
customers want, and ŠKODA is fully committed to
making this wish come true.
22 Dressed for success
The ŠKODA Fabia is the first series model to show-
case the brand’s new design line, on the basis of
the much acclaimed design study, ŠKODA VisionC.
28 Street Art on wheels
Portuguese graffiti artist Armando Gomes created
the first-ever ŠKODA art car – his personal interpre-
tation of the new models‘ unique colour concept.
30 Gateway to the world of ŠKODA
The new dealer CI/CD architecture is being rolled
out according to schedule. A visit to one of the
most modern ŠKODA dealerships in Germany.
22
28
16
Contents
232014 – A ŠKODA year in review
46
60
38
38 Heavy metal
Foundry, forge and toolmaking are core areas in auto-
motive production. At ŠKODA they have a long-standing
tradition based on a unique passion for precision.
46 Winning for the brand
2014 was another record year for ŠKODA Motorsport.
2015 will see a major change: The successful ŠKODA
Fabia Super 2000 is replaced by the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5.
54 ŠKODA highlights
2014 will go down in the history of ŠKODA as a year with
landmark model ramp-ups, new motorsports successes
and numerous awards.
60 A leap back in time
Thousands of Chinese lined the streets at the
“Top City Classic Rally China” to see ŠKODA classic cars
for the very first time.
30
54
24 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Making their car one of a kind is what many customers want,
and ŠKODA is fully committed to making this wish come
true. This is why the Company offers buyers a broad range of
customization options for its new models. As much standardiza-
tion as necessary, as much customization as possible: This re-
quires great effort, but the results speak for themselves. Never
before have ŠKODA cars been that unique by request.
252014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Unique
by request
Demanding and inspiring
at the same time: The
selection of the perfect
range of customization
options requires pro-
found knowledge of a
brand’s DNA and a perfect
sense of materials and
colour combinations.
26 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Unique
by request
Give the customers a broad range of choices and help
them create a truly unique car that reflects their own tastes
and aspirations: ŠKODA’s customization programme is
designed specifically to meet the expectations of all cus-
tomers notwithstanding their differing preferences.
272014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ Customization is not
an easy task, and we
can only master it
successfully if all of
us pull together.” Věra Vasická pushes the colour charts across the dark desk,
holds two of them up against the light and compares them with
a length of fabric: A dark-red exterior paint and black fabric seats
with white piping – the effect is sporty but not flashy. That’s
something the customers of the ŠKODA brand should like.
The work of the seasoned exterior designer and her colleague,
interior designer Kateřina Vránová, might look playful, but this im-
pression is deceptive: The high pace at which new design options
are developed is a true challenge, and it is followed by an intense
debate: “First off, we talk about our designs with colleagues from
our own department and coordinate things with the Head of De-
sign, Jozef Kabaň, before asking people in other departments like
Marketing or Sales for their opinions. The Board of Management
has the final say. But if we have the right arguments, our sugges-
tions usually get accepted,” explains Věra Vasická.
The customization of cars is not only a matter of design, colour,
quality or look and feel; it is also about the use of state-of-the-
art technologies that meet the driver’s individual wishes or re-
quirements. This is emotion too: vehicle technology that provides
optimum support to the driver. The assignment is clear: to of-
fer the broadest possible range of technological and aesthetic
equipment options to the potential buyer so that the car is the
perfect fit for their personal taste and fully meets their individual
demands.
To anticipate customer wishes, to put together consistent equip-
ment packages without losing sight of the value for money – be-
sides the creative aspect of the task, these basics have to be
considered as well. Customization is a top priority on ŠKODA’s
agenda. At the same time, it is a challenge for the entire pro-
duction process: From idea to implementation, numerous steps
of production require close coordination; capacities have to be
planned and provided. “It’s not an easy task, and we can only
master it successfully if all of us pull together,” comments Kateři-
na Vránová.
More than just a brand
New vehicles for new markets and new target groups with new
requirements – ŠKODA has changed completely over the past five
years, says Kateřina Vránová. “We have become more dynamic,
more fashionable and more focused on young people,” explains
the young woman who joined the company as a trainee ten years
ago and made her way through Sales to Design, where she has
been for six years now. She regards the current customization initi-
ative as just another expression of ŠKODA’s great dynamics. Where
there used to be a choice of eight exterior colors, the brand now
offers a great variety of different combinations. A range of previ-
ously two interior lines has grown to five – or even seven if you
include the top equipment option, “Laurin & Klement”.
28 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Unique
by request
The two designers often find inspiration in fields other than the
automotive industry; good sources are fashion shows in Paris or
international art exhibitions. But everyday life also sparks plenty
of ideas: “Everything can serve as an influence. Our job is our pas-
sion, so we may have a sudden inspiration even when we just go
grocery or clothes shopping,” Kateřina Vránová explains.
Some days we are ‘wilder’
The development of colour combinations often depends on the
designers’ mood. “Some days we are ‘wilder’ than others and feel
more like experimenting a bit,” says Věra Vasická. Customization
made by ŠKODA – this also means greater creative and emotion-
al freedom for the team.
Nevertheless, the creatives must not lose sight of costs and fea-
sibility. And no matter what has been created on the drawing
board, ultimately, the colours have to look good on the car. “We
run numerous tests to determine what works well, what might
be a little over the top, and what is unobtrusive but still effective.”
Three years is the time period from the first ideas and drafts to
their implementation. The ideas have to be evaluated for their
feasibility first – in close cooperation with suppliers and special-
ists for fabrics, leathers, plastics and paints. After all, a look cho-
sen today should still be a source of joy many years from now.
The new ŠKODA Fabia comes with 125 potential colour combi-
nations for the car body and the interior, as well as a wide range
of different wheel rim designs, 17 ‘simply clever’ details – some
of them new developments – and tech customization options
via MirrorLinkTM and the Smart Gate technology. Its development
was a best-case scenario for the two design experts: Never be-
fore did they have that much freedom for ideas and the respec-
tive possibilities to try them out.
Colours as brand shapers
The designers are aware of the fact that the majority of all
ŠKODA customers will continue to give preference to traditional
vehicle colours, such as white, blue, silver or black. However, a
larger offering of exterior and interior colours generally makes a
brand more appealing to new target groups, creates emotions
and thus desires. Plus, over time certain colours have turned into
ŠKODA signature colours – which makes them a kind of brand
shaper: ‘Sprint Yellow’ or ‘Rally Green Metallic’, for instance, play
an important role also beyond actual sales.
To look modern without following every trend; to be timeless
without appearing old-fashioned; to offer customization options
without losing the typical ŠKODA appeal: The tasks are challeng-
ing, and the goal is clear. There have long been lots of rational
reasons for ŠKODA; but surely by now, the heart is in it too.
The colourful world of ŠKODA:
Colours like for example the flashy
‘Sprint Yellow’ showcase the potential
of the ŠKODA brand for more daring
and cutting-edge colour designs
apart from the mainstream.
292014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Customization made by ŠKODA
also means greater creative and
emotional freedom for the team.
ŠKODA is trending: In our volatile and complex times, many people are
looking for relief; they want to refocus on values that really count. All
the bling-bling and useless knickknacks are out. What sells are brands
and products that make sense to people. Many car buyers have enough
of the hype created around the car; they don’t want to live for a car but
with a car. For these people, ŠKODA is a perfect match.
ŠKODA stands for substance over appearance and can be individual-
ized to a large extent. What drivers find in ŠKODA is lots of space, in
the car as well as in the brand. They can drive their cars as they please:
as a reasonable family car, a snappy urban runabout or an understated
powerhouse. ŠKODA creates space for the driver’s individuality – and
this is exactly in sync with our times.
Cars still move and touch us like no other product. But to make custom-
ers accept and buy cars, they have to be more than a sum of their parts.
They have to form a holistic symbol that can represent the driver with
their individual driving style, lifestyle and personality. I am convinced
that drivers enter their proverbial alter ego when they get into their
cars. Target group specific customization options allow automotive
manufacturers to generate the best-possible fit of car and driver, in
other words: the perfect balance between performance, status, inte-
gration, functionality and individuality. This is why I consider custom-
ization as one of the best possibilities in acquiring customers and in-
creasing their loyalty.
With its broad range of customization options, ŠKODA meets its cus-
tomers’ expressed demand for personal space in the most appropriate
manner. The ŠKODA customer prefers subtle differentiations. Specific
wishes for customization are driven by an integrative attitude and not
primarily by the desire to stand out from the crowd. Sportiness and
emotional appeal are important primarily as they come together with
functionality, quality and value, not as an end in itself.
So while ŠKODA customers mainly strive for integration on the out-
side, they want to express their individuality in the interior. Emotion-
al appeal in the exterior without any gimmickry, but by emphasizing
the minimalist and timeless elements of the ŠKODA design language;
a stronger expression in the interior when it comes to both look and
functionality – this is how I would describe the task. The application
of state-of-the-art safety systems, high-value materials, smart details
that make everyday life as a car owner easier, and advanced communi-
cation technologies are a must. ŠKODA drivers want to experience that
their vehicle adjusts to their requirements – not the other way around.
Create
space for
individuality
Brand expert Sebastian Buggert,
Head of Business Group of Rheingold GmbH, Cologne,
on ‘Customization made by ŠKODA’.
30 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Dressed
for success
Head Designer Jozef Kabaň stands for the ŠKODA brand’s new design language.
Modern but not modernist, with concise lines and smooth surfaces but also a
great emotional appeal: The seasoned car designer is very demanding when
it comes to the drafts, which always involve some references to the tradition-
al Bohemian craftsmanship. He is well aware of the close ties the brand has
to its location at the heart of Europe and of the pride the brand inspires in the
Czech Republic: “For the Czechs, ŠKODA is much more than a company.”
The first series model to feature the new ŠKODA design language which is
going to shape all future models – the third-generation ŠKODA Fabia con-
stitutes no less than just another key milestone for the ŠKODA brand. It is
therefore vital that the new car is well received – after all, it is one of
the pillars of the ŠKODA portfolio. But ŠKODA’s Head Designer, Jozef Kabaň,
keeps his cool. The seasoned designer knows the ŠKODA brand like no
other. He knows how to create a new model that is attractive to regular cus-
tomers and new target groups alike, thus ensuring its market success.
312014 – A ŠKODA year in review
32 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Dressed
for success
The look of the new ŠKODA Fabia is based on the ŠKODA VisionC de-
sign study, which outlined the key features of ŠKODA’s future design
language when it was presented at the ‘Auto Salon’ in Geneva in March
2014: highly expressive, with concise lines and perfect proportions. The
response of the media and the public was unequivocally positive. “The
idea is to combine the great functionality our brand is recognized for
with a look and feel that induces positive emotions right at first sight,”
ŠKODA Head Designer Jozef Kabaň summarizes the underlying design
strategy. It is a complex challenge, considering that the emotional ap-
peal could not be achieved at the expense of the car’s great practical-
ity, a trademark of the ŠKODA brand’s product range.

Drawing on the brand’s own automobile tradition
as an inspiration
Jozef Kabaň regards the new direction taken with the design also as
a reminiscence of the brand’s classic cars: Automobiles like the first
Highly expressive, with concise lines and perfect
proportions: The ŠKODA VisionC lays out the
brand’s new design language. At its presentation
in March 2014, the design study received great
attention and a positive response from the inter-
national media and the general public. The new
ŠKODA Fabia is the first series model to feature
the design attributes of the ŠKODA VisionC.
2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
The team going over the details once more: With its three-
dimensionally sculpted rear lights, the distinctly shaped
en gine hood and vehicle front, the new ŠKODA Fabia is an
impressive combination of crystalline shapes and concise lines
with highly precise, well-balanced and tight proportions.
ŠKODA Superb, built from 1934 onwards, or the ŠKODA Popular Mon-
te Carlo, another 1930s model, were known for their great emotional
appeal.
But there’s another aspect that comes into play here: The appear-
ance of ŠKODA’s latest models deliberately represents the unique
character of their country of origin, as well as the long-standing tra-
dition of Czech craftsmanship. ŠKODA’s success is not least due to
the fact that the cars are perceived as products with typical Czech
characteristics, argues Jozef Kabaň: ‘That’s something customers in
Europe appreciate, and so do people in China or India.’
At no time in its eventful history has the Company had to leave the
course laid out for itself. Consequently, ŠKODA can now draw directly
on its rich automotive tradition. This is also true of the design – and
a huge advantage, Jozef Kabaň emphasizes.
Apart from being firmly rooted in the heart of Europe, ŠKODA has
long established itself as an international brand and has attracted car
enthusiasts from around the globe; this fact was reflected in the
Expressing the main characteristics of the design study ŠKODA VisionC in
the ŠKODA Fabia: “With these sharp edges and concise lines, we have created
more contrast and a very strong interplay of light and shadow,” ŠKODA
Head Designer Jozef Kabaň explains some of the basic similarities between
the design study ŠKODA VisionC and the series model ŠKODA Fabia.
33
34 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“A new car goes through hundreds of
hands”: The core team responsible for
the design of the new ŠKODA Fabia
sometimes comprised up to 70 mem-
bers. On top of that, other departments
at the Company and external service
providers were involved in the project.
At 20 different nationalities, the com-
position of the core team was impres-
sive – and once again attested to the
ŠKODA brand’s great internationality.
The design study ŠKODA VisionC
was also the inspiration for the
headlights and rear lights of the
new ŠKODA Fabia: The shape of the
lamps, reminiscent of cut crystal,
pays homage to the craftsman-
ship of Bohemian glass artisans.
Dressed
for success
2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
composition of the design team for the ŠKODA Fabia: Team mem-
bers included people from a variety of countries, such as Algeria,
Australia, Finland, Sweden, the UK and Austria.
Four years leading up to the big moment
The process of designing the new ŠKODA Fabia took almost four
years. Close teamwork was a top priority, with the number of peo-
ple involved fluctuating considerably over the course of the project.
At times, relevant other departments at the Company as well as
external service providers were asked to get involved. ‘A new car
passes through hundreds of hands,’ Jozef Kabaň comments.
After all, a design process is not only about giving a new model an
attractive exterior – the interior has to be developed as well. Plus,
experts from other areas – such as Purchasing, Toolmaking and
Production – have to okay the feasibility of the solutions Design
proposes; and last but not least, numerous safety aspects need to
be considered.
But all these efforts are worth it in the end. From the tornado line
to the wing line and on to the three-dimensionally sculpted rear
lights – every little detail of the new model lives up to the high
expectations.
Another highlight is scheduled for 2015: the world premiere of the
new ŠKODA Superb, the ŠKODA flagship. In this model, the new
design language will fully come into its own. Everybody agrees that
the new ŠKODA Superb is so far the best – and probably most at-
tractive – ŠKODA of all time.
“Every time, it is such a fulfilling moment when we present our
latest models to the public and people understand and like what
we have done,” says Jozef Kabaň. At these occasions, one-on-ones
with the Head Designer are in high demand with experts and rep-
resentatives of the global media. He zealously explains every little
detail and shares his enthusiasm with his conversation partners.
At the same time, he comes across as grateful – grateful for the
opportunity to have a significant share in taking this highly dynamic
ŠKODA brand to the next level, and grateful for the opportunity to
work with a wonderful team, the prerequisite for excellent results:
“You just can’t design an entire car all by yourself.”
The new ŠKODA Superb
The new ŠKODA Fabia has
put ŠKODA’s new design
language on the road for the
first time. The new flagship
model, the ŠKODA Superb, is
going to show the new look
and feel as its best, with the
new design conveying an
unparalleled elegance that
is based on sophisticated
details: The unique look of
the rear lights, for instance,
optimizes the air flow and
improves the model’s aero-
dynamics. The elegant side
line is visually supported by
a shift of the gaps in the en-
gine hood’s sides to the level
of the top V line. A unique
combination of harmony and
dynamics – this is the design
of the new ŠKODA Superb.
35
Everybody agrees that the new
ŠKODA Superb is so far the best –
and probably most attractive –
ŠKODA of all time.
36 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Renowned Portuguese graffiti artist
Armando Gomes created the first-
ever ŠKODA art car. The ŠKODA Fabia
‘Street Art’ car showcases the
artist’s own colourful interpretation
of the new models’ unique
colour concept which allows a total
of 125 colour combinations for
the roof, A-pillars, wing mirror caps
and wheels.
The art project was part of the new ŠKODA Fabia’s interna-
tional presentation to the press in Lisbon in October 2014. The
ŠKODA Fabia ‘Street Art’ was created in several stages. Ar-
mando Gomes laid the groundwork by applying the lines and
geometrical shapes to the body of the car. The surfaces were
then sprayed in different colours. At this stage, the artist was
supported by international lifestyle journalists who were pres-
ent to familiarize themselves with the new ŠKODA Fabia and
enjoyed participating in this unique art event.
Armando Jorge Aires da Costa Gomes is regarded as one of the
most significant graffiti artists in the world. The 31-year-old
lives and works in Lisbon. He also works as a designer, illustra-
tor and film producer.
Street Art
on wheels
A unique art car that
sends a clear mes-
sage: The ŠKODA Fabia
‘Street Art’ perfectly
represents the more
youthful and emotional
appeal so typical of all
recent ŠKODA models.
372014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Shared creativity:
Representatives of the
international media joined
Portuguese artist
Armando Gomes in creat-
ing the unique ŠKODA
Fabia ‘Street Art’ car.
The expression of an artist’s personality and modern car
design in perfect harmony: The ŠKODA Fabia ‘Street Art’ will go
down in the annals of ŠKODA as the brand’s first art car ever.
38 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
392014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ We are the gateway
to the world
of ŠKODA”
In many big cities around the globe,
ŠKODA cars are omnipresent and a familiar
part of the streetscape. But ŠKODA is
also expanding its presence beyond the
metropolitan areas, acquiring new
customers among the population.
A visit to one of the most modern ŠKODA
dealerships in Germany.
If you ask Dominik Kuhlmann, the reasons for ŠKODA’s success in rural areas are
easy to define: an attractive and increasingly emotional model range, highly efficient
dealerships and service centres, and the brand’s great credibility. The young man-
aging director of the Friedrich Hoffmann Car Dealership in Burgwald, which runs full
ŠKODA operations with service and sales units, knows what he’s talking about: He
was a driving force behind the setup of the dealership from scratch over the past 18
months.
We are in the locality of Bottendorf, a part of the municipality of Burgwald: Extensive
forests and a rolling hillside characterize the area that is famous for its excellent
cured meats; most of the population works in the agricultural sector.
This place in Hessen, almost at the centre of Germany, has one of the newest and
most modern ŠKODA dealerships in the country, which is the second biggest indi-
vidual market for the brand, following China. Situated on a small hill, the dealership
is visible from afar. From up close, the light-green ŠKODA logo and the bright but
The new ŠKODA
showroom design
is an invitation to
everybody to spend
as much time looking
around and talking
as needed to fully
grasp the fascination
of the ŠKODA brand
and its latest models.
40 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Expanded showrooms
to ensure the appro-
priate presentation
of the growing model
range and optimized
customer orientation is
at the heart of the CI/CD
architecture of ŠKODA.
“May I help you
with your decision?”
The ultimate aim is
to make the custom-
er feel at home.
412014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ The most important
thing is to meet cus­
tomers half­way, to
invite them to visit
us and get to know
our products.”
warm illumination of the showroom are reflected on the rain-slicked asphalt of the
car park. The first impression: appealing, modern and inviting.
Dominik Kuhlmann welcomes us. At 29, he is most likely one of the youngest manag-
ing directors of a German car dealership. But despite his youth, he has plenty of ex-
perience in the automotive business. As the fourth generation at the family-owned
Friedrich Hoffmann Car Dealership, he shares the management with his uncle.
“I guess you could say, cars are in my DNA,” he says, laughing.
The owner-managed company was founded back in 1923. At its four retail outlets,
the Friedrich Hoffmann Car Dealership presents select brands of the Volkswagen
Group. ŠKODA joined the ranks two years ago. The opening of the new branch was
a personal dream of Dominik Kuhlmann come true: “I advocated the opening of this
ŠKODA showroom because I am a big fan of the brand and absolutely convinced of
its great potential. And the customer demand was there as well. That’s why I did
everything I could to convince ŠKODA to partner up with us”, he explains with pride.
More than 5,000 customer contact points in roughly 100 countries are part of
ŠKODA’s global network; some 600 thereof are situated in Germany. The demand-
ing pace at which ŠKODA drives its growth strategy poses particular challenges for
the retail organization. The new, modern corporate design provides the framework.
There’s plenty to do: expand the showrooms to ensure the appropriate presenta-
tion of the growing model range, step up repair shop capacities, optimize customer
orientation, and – last but not least – implement the new corporate design require-
ments down to the smallest detail.
Providing the emotional framework
The ŠKODA dealership in Burgwald-Bottendorf celebrated its opening on 22 Sep-
tember 2013, following a construction period of 12 months. The new site fully meets
the brand’s requirements concerning functionality and equipment of its retail outlets.
“Our big advantage was that we could start from scratch and had more than enough
space. There was no need to consider any existing buildings,” Dominik Kuhlmann
explains while presenting the repair shop, the showroom and – giving us a glimpse
behind the scenes – the ‘functional spaces’. The facility has a total constructed area
of 1,600 m2, the floor space – including sales offices, repair shop service counter
and glass-clad showroom – comprises 3,600 m2. Thanks to the bright tiled floor,
the modern and minimalist furniture and the roof construction with its exposed roof
racks that seems to float over the building, the overall appearance is very open,
friendly and oriented towards the customer.
The aim is to make the customer feel at home right away; and Dominik Kuhlmann
considers this a concept. Consequently, he wants his dealership to pick up and build
on the greater emotional appeal of the brand’s new product strategy. After all, emo-
tionally appealing products have to be presented in an emotionally appealing sur-
roundings to have the greatest effect, he believes. Plus, “the most important thing is
to meet customers half-way, to invite them to visit us and get to know our products.
We are the customers’ gateway to the world of ŠKODA, and we are fully aware of the
responsibility that comes with it,” Dominik Kuhlmann emphasizes. Success proves
him right: Over the past 18 months, the dealership has built a solid presence in the
region, generating continuous growth both in the diagnosis and service centre as
well as in new car sales.
42 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ The design of ŠKODA’s
cars is getting more
and more attractive;
and the greater
emotional appeal will
help us tap into
new target groups.”
Exceeding customers’ expectations
It is Friday afternoon; the atmosphere in the showroom is buzzing but relaxed. A
family of four are eyeing up the ŠKODA Octavia Combi. While the kids try out the rear
seat bench, the parents take turns behind the wheel before directing their attention
to the trunk. A young woman has arrived with her toddler son. She is interested in
the new ŠKODA Fabia, which occupies centre stage in the showroom. Presented
here in ‘Race Blue’, its attractive design sends emotional signals as well. “Stylish,” she
says and takes her time checking out the entire vehicle while a female employee
of the dealership watches her kid. “We score the most points when we manage
to exceed customers’ expectations a little,” comments Dominik Kuhlmann, adding
that “people know each other around here; they meet regularly in their clubs and at
events and chat. A good reputation can go a long way here.”
The diagnosis and service centre is quite busy as well. A white ŠKODA Yeti ‘Monte
Carlo’ is next in line to be diagnosed. Work is also underway at two further car hoists:
a brake test and a tire exchange.
At present, the headcount at the dealership stands at 23 and all of the employees
are from the region; none of them has a commute of over 20 minutes. This is anoth-
er element of the concept of consistent customer orientation: “Our staff has to come
from around here and they have to speak our customers’ language. This guarantees
that people accept them and that they can work suc-
cessfully,” Dominik Kuhlmann sums it up.
Designed for further growth
The young managing director has ambitious plans
for the future: “Our company is designed for further
growth, and we are convinced that we will manage to
reach our targets, thanks to the active support from
ŠKODA.” He is extremely satisfied with the supporting
activities offered by ŠKODA: “PR and marketing are top,”
he says, underscoring the importance of close ties be-
tween the brand and its retail outlets. The brand’s dy-
namics and its great credibility make him particularly op-
timistic about the long-term prospects: “The design of
ŠKODA’s cars is getting more and more attractive; and
the greater emotional appeal will help us tap into new
target groups.” On top of that, ŠKODA represents hon-
esty and reliability – characteristics that perfectly match
the value system of his customers, who would use the same attributes to describe
themselves. “As I see it, it is this combination of dynamics and reliability that defines
the great value of the ŠKODA brand. This is one of the main reasons why I see major
development potential for our dealership,” he concludes our conversation on a very
positive note before sending us on our way.
By now, it’s dark outside. The lights of the Friedrich Hoffmann Car Dealership shine
brightly into the night. Today, the blue ŠKODA Fabia hasn’t sold yet. But it is almost
certain that it will be – tomorrow or next week, at the latest. The young woman is
going to return with her husband before making a final decision. The future of ŠKODA
lies right here – in places like Burgwald-Bottendorf, in the German heartland.
432014 – A ŠKODA year in review
It creates space for
the evergrowing
ŠKODA product
portfolio and pro-
vides just the right
setting to make
the new cars look
good: ŠKODA’s new
CI/CD architecture
sets new standards
around the globe.
ŠKODA customers’
contact point world-
wide: prepared to
accompany their cus-
tomers from day one.
44 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
At ŠKODA, we are giving it our all to modernize the appearance of our global retail
and service partners. These efforts are directly connected to our Company’s global
growth strategy; to be precise, the modernization is part of the ŠKODA Distribution
Strategy (SDS), which aims at optimizing all key processes at the point of sale as well
as the customer support by our sales and service staff at the dealership. The brand’s
dynamics are expressed in the modern and – even more importantly – emotionally
charged design of our new models, but they also have to be reflected in the retail
outlets.
The introduction of our new ŠKODA CI/CD architecture at the point of sale primarily
serves two purposes: First off, it allows us to meet our customers’ expectations of
the brand, which have become even more demanding due to our vehicles’ new look
and feel; and secondly, it helps us put these new and especially attractive vehicles
in the right light. Both aspects are of major significance, not only for the time being,
but also for the continuing positive development of the ŠKODA brand. We are now
forming the cornerstone of our development in the years to come.
In many cases, the comprehensive rebranding and the new CI/CD of the architecture
at the point of sale is about as far-reaching as a new building. We are not talking
about some minor details here; this is about a completely new design concept which
– as a consequence of our ambitious model initiative – often enough entails a nec-
essary expansion of the showroom and repair shop capacities.
The global implementation of this CI/CD is being handled with greatest care and
according to a precise schedule, with the 36 key markets taking top priority. We are
primarily focussing on Europe – and China. But we are also very active in other im-
portant markets such as Russia.
The conversion of the dealerships is making good progress. So far, some 500 busi-
nesses around the world have adopted the new CI/CD – and we are continuing to
work at a great pace.
The summer of 2015 is going to see the market launch of the new ŠKODA Superb. In
many respects, this new model is a milestone for the ŠKODA brand; it is expected to
establish the brand perception on a considerably higher level in the long term. The
retail outlets do not only have to correspond to this ambition – they have to support it
actively through their entire look and feel. We want our customers to feel, understand
and share our passion for our brand’s cars. This is why we have devised the new CI/CD
architecture in the first place; this is why we are making a huge effort. The outstanding
positive feedback we have received from both dealers and customers so far proves
our approach right – and it drives us further: We are going to continue until every
customer, even in the most remote corner of the world, understands one thing right
upon entering one of our dealerships: “Simply ŠKODA. This is where I belong.”
“ The global implementation of our
new CI/CD architecture is
being handled with greatest care and
according to a precise schedule.”
Lars-Cassio Wesner,
Head of Business Development,
ŠKODA AUTO
452014 – A ŠKODA year in review
The completely
new ŠKODA CI/CD
was specifically
designed to reflect
and strengthen the
brand’s potential,
highlight the great
appeal of the new
ŠKODA models at
the point of sale
and guarantee a
consistent brand
appearance
worldwide.
46 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Foundry, forge, tool-
making: These are core
areas in automotive pro-
duction, and they have
a long-standing tradi-
tion at ŠKODA. But it is
first of all the team that
creates something out
of the ordinary here –
with emotion, expertise
and a unique passion for
precision and quality.
The red-hot
heart
of ŠKODA
Heavy
metal
Fully automated crankcase production –
it takes only a few process steps to turn a red-hot
piece of steel into the heart of a drivetrain.
472014 – A ŠKODA year in review
48 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
In Hall H2 at the ŠKODA plant in Mladá Boleslav, all senses im-
mediately send one message: Automotive engineering is a lot
about processing metal. There is the heat of the metal, the noise
of the facilities, the smell of hot machine grease. Red-hot steel
is forged in huge facilities. A forklift truck carrying a barrel of liq-
uid aluminium passes by and dumps its load into a large funnel
on top of a casting facility, as if it were water. Heavy metal rules
– here where ŠKODA’s foundry and forge are located.
Today, the production area originally established in 1963 – short-
ly before the start of production of the compact model, ŠKODA
1000 MB – is one of the most state-of-the-art facilities of its
kind and part of the Volkswagen Group’s Center of Excellence.
“We are very proud of this distinction, because we stood our
ground against fierce competition from within the Group,” ex-
plains Jaroslav Müller who runs the foundry and forge.
The 300 workers at Mladá Boleslav make about 1.7 million raw
parts a year, amounting to a total weight of approx. 21,000 tons.
Casting moulds from the aluminium foundry and forged pieces
from Mladá Boleslav are applied not only at the ŠKODA produc-
tion, but also at numerous national and international production
sites of the VW Group. Besides the ŠKODA production, Group
customers include the VW plant in Chemnitz, Germany, and the
Audi plant in Györ, Hungary.
ŠKODA has a long tradition of making moulds and forgings for
machines and gearbox units. Back in 1962, for instance, the com-
pany set new standards in terms of innovative engine and drive
technologies with its production of the ŠKODA 1000 MB. Vladimír
Barci, a foundry coordinator, tells the story: “ŠKODA was the first
European automaker ever to apply aluminium die casting for the
cylinder block production in engine development. And the same
production process was used for the four-speed gearbox. What
ŠKODA did here was to go back to a procedure that was origi-
nally developed in 1922 by the Czech engineer Josef Polák. As a
result, production times could be reduced considerably.”
Müller and his team are particularly proud of their fully automat-
ed crankcase production. Faster and more precise than any hu-
man possibly could, it takes the facility only a few process steps
to turn a red-hot piece of steel into the heart of the drivetrains,
which are applied in ŠKODA vehicles as well as in models of the
Volkswagen, Audi and Seat brands. It is investments like this that
safeguard the future viability of ŠKODA’s foundry and forge. Plus,
it sends a clear message also to the team – an important move
considering the ongoing debate in the industry about in-house
production depth and the procurement of parts from third-party
manufacturers. “For years, ŠKODA has invested very consistently
in our facilities. As a result, we are highly competitive within
and beyond the Group. Another key aspect is that, due to our
50-year tradition, we have highly skilled workers who are true
masters of their trade. This allows us to strengthen our good
standing in the Volkswagen Group for the long term and to play
an important role in a variety of future projects,” Jaroslav Müller
comments on his area’s prospects.
Heavy
metal
Faster and more precise than any human: Utmost pre-
cision as the ultimate requirement for everything
fabricated here – which could not be achieved with-
out the use of sophisticated machinery.
492014 – A ŠKODA year in review
“ ŠKODA has invested very
consistently in our facili­
ties. As a result, we are now
highly competitive within
and beyond the Group.”
Where it all begins: One tends to forget
that high-tech automobiles would not
exist without the work in the foundry,
forge and toolmaking. These special-
ists are the latest in a long line of proud
workers at ŠKODA – and it shows.
Jaroslav Müller, Head of Foundry and Forge
50 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Heavy
metal
“ Toolmaking bridges the
gap between development
and production. We help
visions to become reality.”
Dwarfed by the machine:
Before tons of weight
are brought down to
form the steel, workers
have to make sure that
not the tiniest speck of
dust will spoil the result.
Ing. Filip Koliáš, Head of Mould Construction
512014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Further investment is earmarked for the facility: In the near fu-
ture, two additional die casting facilities and four CNC machines
are going to extend the production activities; they are scheduled
to go on stream in the first quarter of 2016. In addition, Müller
and his team have started to work on producing structural parts
using the aluminium die casting process. After all, weight – and
thus the lightweight material aluminium – is an increasingly im-
portant factor when it comes to meeting ŠKODA’s ambitious car-
bon emission targets. The weight difference is dramatic as the
specific weight of aluminium is only a third compared to steel.
People make all the difference
As it is a ŠKODA trademark, it is not surprising that, at the found-
ry and forge, it is once again the people who make all the differ-
ence. Müller: “All our workers here are ŠKODA guys with heart
and soul. And only if these emotions come into play, you can cre-
ate truly outstanding quality.” It is hard work, due to the nature
of the material. ŠKODA constantly invests in workplace safe-
ty and health protection; everything is completely up to date.
However, temperatures of several hundred degrees Celsius,
all the noise and the smashing force of the heavyweight forg-
ing hammers make it an exhausting work environment. Still,
the workers put their heart and soul into their work, and some
come from families that have worked here for generations.
Such as Miroslav Vik, whose father used to work in the found-
ry as well. He himself has been working at the plant for over
20 years. Only the third generation – Vik’s daughter – has other
career plans, and the father seems a bit sad when he says that.
Tradition always comes with passion, no doubt about that.
Filip Koliáš, who is responsible for mould construction at ŠKODA’s
toolmaking facility, fully agrees. Only a few steps away from the
foundry and forge, the atmosphere in this area is completely dif-
ferent. There is near silence, and the concentration and focus
on precision are almost tangible. Koliáš explains: “Toolmaking
bridges the gap between development and production. We help
visions to become reality.”
This is true for all areas, ranging from engine development to
design. The first step is always the same: to ensure the technical
feasibility of an idea. “There is good reason why we are involved
from the first development steps on,” says Koliáš. After all, it is
important that the ideas of the engine developers can be imple-
mented without a hitch in series production – that means, at the
foundry and forge – later on. The questions to be answered are
complex: Which casting method will be most suitable? What sur-
face properties do we need? To which parameters do we need
to adhere? How will the moulds and tools have to look? Koliáš
and Müller cooperate closely as all moulds for the foundry actually
come from the toolmaking unit in Mladá Boleslav. Engine blocks,
gear parts and gearboxes: Again, it is always a matter of maximum
precision. An inaccurate mould will lead to rejects, which can only
be used as raw material for the next try, if at all.
To secure ŠKODA standards for the fu-
ture, the Company has installed an
ambitious training programme for
young people eager to carry on the tra-
dition and expertise of toolmaking.
52 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
A joint passion for precision
The team around Head of Design Jozef Kabaň frequently dis-
cusses matters with their colleagues in toolmaking as well. “We
work towards the same goal,” Kabaň states. “Top design and top
quality for the ŠKODA brand. And we share a passion for preci-
sion: We want everything we do to be perfect. And people sense
that when they see our ŠKODA cars – cars with their own char-
acter, emotional and made with attention to the smallest detail,
by people who are masters of their crafts.”
From the outset, the designers coordinate their ideas with the
toolmakers to check their feasibility. Concise lines, clear-cut ed-
ges, exact gap sizes – the elements that make a ŠKODA beauti-
ful, that have an emotional appeal for the customers and inspire
them, they all depend on the expertise of the toolmaking team.
The toolmakers’ expertise makes all the difference – from the
tiniest special tool for assembly up to the pressing mould that
weighs several tons and is applied to produce several thousands
of car body parts a day, with tolerances of only a tenth of a milli-
metre. The Czech specialists even design entire production facil-
ities: Later, when the body shop robots on the highly automated
welding lines seem to come to life and start their routine of com-
plex movements, it will be the result of several days of training,
of programming carried out by the specialists in toolmaking. An-
other development based on the automotive core competence
that has a 110-year tradition at ŠKODA.
The demands in toolmaking are unique, and so are the members
of the team. Koliáš: “Toolmakers are different. We love precision
and details – that’s what we live and breathe for. People who
can be satisfied with 99% don’t belong here. We have trained
most of our people ourselves, and many of them stay a long
time, some even for their entire professional life. And quite a
few pass their passion on to the next generation. We have a
few father-son teams sharing a workstation, and there are a few
guys who are the third generation of toolmakers in their family.”
Koliáš himself joined the toolmaking unit 13 years ago. Like many
of his colleagues, he is a ŠKODA guy through and through: “The
brand’s global success, the model initiative with all these many
launches over the next few years – this is also a major challenge
for toolmaking. And what could be more motivating than such a
challenge?”
Heavy
metal
A good eye and a steady hand are prerequisites for
working here, at a place where precision makes all the
difference and carelessness is just not an option.
532014 – A ŠKODA year in review
54 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
552014 – A ŠKODA year in review
For years, the ŠKODA Motorsport team
has gone from victory to victory. In 2014,
it once again wrote motorsports history.
2015, however, will be a transition year:
The successful ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000
has resigned and is succeeded by the
new ŠKODA Fabia R 5. It is the end of an
era, but also the beginning of a new one.
Motorsports is becoming a key tool in
strengthening the emotional appeal of
the ŠKODA brand and in tapping new mar-
kets and target groups – primarily in the
Asia-Pacific region. Time for a fundamen-
tal evaluation of where we stand.
Winning for
the brand
That’s what winners look
like: The ŠKODA teams
celebrate the victory in the
prestigious APRC, which
gives the ŠKODA brand
additional exposure in the
important Asia-Pacific region.
56 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Winning for
the brand
2015 will be
a year to set
a new course,
a year of
transition.
The successful ŠKODA
Fabia Super 2000 in action:
After five outstanding
years, it is being replaced by
the ŠKODA Fabia R 5 in 2015.
572014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Another stellar season for ŠKODA Motorsport
2014 turned out to be another year of exceptional successes for
ŠKODA Motorsport and private ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 teams,
both on rally tracks in Europe as well as Asia-Pacific.
In the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), ŠKODA
managed to complete a hat-trick of back-to-back titles in the
Manufacturer’s and Driver’s Championships following a perfect
season, with six wins in six rallies.
Driver Jan Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler became the
first duo ever to win the Driver’s titles in the FIA European Cham-
pionship (ERC) and the APRC in consecutive years.
Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm proved extremely successful,
having become the third ŠKODA Motorsport crew (after Jan
Kopecký and Juho Hänninen) to win the ERC for the third consec-
utive year.
Teams in a ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000 won five national rally
championships (Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia, Jordan).
We meet Jan Kopecký and his co-driver Pavel Dresler in the
ŠKODA Motorsport hall where they prepare for another busy
day: The heart of the global rally activities of ŠKODA Motorsport
beats right here, on the ŠKODA plant premises in Mladá Bole-
slav. This is where the team laid the foundation of the great
accomplishments of the past seasons, which brought better
and better rankings, new records, and ultimately, the sweeping
successes on the rallytracks in the Asia-Pacific region.
Typically in January, the two rally drivers would be in Monte Car-
lo for the traditional opening of the racing season. But just like
the entire team, they are facing a “transition year”, as Head of
ŠKODA Motorsport Michal Hrabánek puts it – a year to set a
new course, a year to focus on the transition to the new car,
the ŠKODA Fabia R 5. This means for Jan Kopecký and Pavel
Dresler that they won’t hit the rallytrack anytime soon. Not be-
fore mid-2015 are they going to start on select rallytracks and
try to build on their previous successes with their new car.
The expectations are high: For the first time in the rally sports
history, the two young Czechs won the driver championship of
both the European Rally Championship (ERC) and the Asian-Pa-
cific Rally Championship (APRC) in 2013 and 2014. Just recently,
the International Automobile Federation (FIA) hosted a big cer-
emony in the capital of Qatar, Doha, where the drivers were
honoured for their achievements. The shiny new trophies are
now displayed in a glass cabinet right next to the kitchenette,
among the many dozens of other trophies they have won in the
past years. And they are planning to add more in the future.

58 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Winning for
the brand
Invincible ŠKODA Fabia
Super 2000: Thousands of
Chinese rally enthusiasts
took the opportunity to
see the already legend-
ary ŠKODA rally car one
last time. As in previous
years, the Super 2000 was
the start of yet another
record-breaking rally
season for ŠKODA – in the
Asia-Pacific region and in
other parts of the world.
592014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Brand presence in the Asia-Pacific region as
a strategic goal
In 2014, Michal Hrabánek made activities in the Asia-Pacific region one of
the top priorities of the year. “Last year’s successes in the APRC matter a
lot to us for more than merely athletic reasons,” he explains. “They are also
of great significance when it comes to further market penetrations.” As a
brand, ŠKODA is already well established in China as well as in other Asian
countries. The interest in car racing, however, in countries like China, India,
New Zealand and Australia still lags behind the interest in many European
countries or the Czech Republic, where up to 250,000 fans line the tracks
in the annual Barum Rally. Nevertheless, the successful participation in
these rallies is essential in order to increase ŠKODA’s name recognition
further. According to Michal Hrabánek, the upwards trend is clearly notice-
able: “The audience along the rallytracks cheers for the teams; and thanks
to our marketing activities, the Chinese are becoming more and more en-
thusiastic and are increasingly interested in getting to know our drivers at
the numerous marketing events we stage around the rallies.”
In China, specific technical regulations apply; these protect the local teams
and are meant to keep costs on an acceptable level. Thanks to the close
cooperation with VW Shanghai, ŠKODA has the opportunity to adapt key
components on site in China. This gives the brand a major strategic edge
over competing teams.
The successful Fabia Super 2000 project is virtually a symbol for the shift
in power in motorsports: It started in 2009 in Monte Carlo, the Mecca of
rally sports in the Principality of Monaco, and it ended in November 2014 in
Longyou, China. “It is a given that we will continue to be active on the Euro-
pean tracks, but in the future, the Asia-Pacific region will gain importance
and require greater attention,” comments Hrabánek.
No time for sentimentalities
Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler are also concentrating on the new goals
and not willing to waste any time on sentimentalities. The Fabia Super
2000 project is over and past. Now, the successful team is focussing on
the test drives in the new ŠKODA Fabia R 5.
The high-performance rally car is scheduled to be presented to an affluent
clientele on select rallytracks around the world starting in May. “We train a
couple of hours almost every day in order to stay fit,” the drivers say. They
are looking forward to going back to competing with other teams again
soon. But for the time being, the two drivers need to attune themselves
to the new vehicle. The most striking difference from their perspective:
The two-liter drivetrain they are used to has been succeeded by a 1.6-litre
turbo engine with completely different performance characteristics and
an unfamiliar five-speed transmission. “It’s different from the S 2000, but
absolutely easy to drive,” comments Jan Kopecký, who is positive that they
will manage to achieve good results in the first few rallies.
Posing in front of the impressive Shanghai skyline:
The successful ŠKODA teams proudly present
their trophies after another outstanding season.
60 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Winning for
the brand
Focus on increasing the brand’s emotional appeal
and customer orientation
For the Head of ŠKODA Motorsport Michal Hrabánek, the R 5 is im-
portant also for an additional reason. Just like Jan Kopecký and Pavel
Dresler, he is a motorsports enthusiast to the core. As the son and
grandson of ŠKODA employees, he basically grew up with ŠKODA:
He temped at the company when he was still in school, and he even
wrote his master thesis on a ŠKODA topic.
Right now, he sees the R 5 as his opportunity and that of the mot-
orsports division to make a significant contribution to tapping into
new markets and target groups. Michal Hrabánek lists his goals with
great determination: Firstly, to use the rally activities with the new
cars to make the emotions of the ŠKODA brand tangible to wide
target groups especially in the core markets. Secondly, to gain at
least 20 to 30 private customers for the ŠKODA Fabia R 5 in 2015
alone. A realistic goal, he says; after all, the successful S 2000 pro-
ject has demonstrated ŠKODA’s outstanding expertise and skills in
building reliable high-performance rally cars.
Wherever possible, his team strives to establish a connection be-
tween motorsports and the series products – for instance by way of
media or dealer initiatives which are used to show the connection
between racing and series cars. On top of that, there are autograph
sessions with the drivers at the rally, a proven way to involve the
audience and raise people’s interest in the brand.
Motorsports – the heart of ŠKODA
We are in the large hall of ŠKODA Motorsport in Mladá Boleslav,
right in front of the old ŠKODA Fabia Super 2000. Next to it, there’s
the new R 5. “You can see that the Super 2000 was made to look
like a rally car all the way,” Hrabánek points out. “The R 5, on the oth-
er hand, has a much more harmonious look and feel to it. Even the
series cars of the new ŠKODA Fabia have this dynamic presence, so
we didn’t have to change that much in terms of visual appearance.”
Next is the photo shoot; Hrabánek takes off his tie and puts on the
green and black jacket of the motorsports team. The manager turns
into the motorsports fan, the strategic mind into the enthusiast. It
is exactly this combination of professionalism and passion that is at
the bottom of all the accomplishments of ŠKODA Motorsport, the
heart of the ŠKODA brand.

“ The Super 2000 was
made to look like a rally
car all the way, the
R 5 has a harmonious
look and feel to it.”
It is the team that makes
all the difference: Mechanics
at work at the headquar-
ters of ŠKODA Motorsport
in Maldá Boleslav.
612014 – A ŠKODA year in review
The past and the future: Michal Hrabánek takes
up position between the old Super 2000 (right)
and the next generation, the R 5 (left).
62 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
ŠKODA
Highlights
2014 Another extraordinary year in many respects –
2014 will go down in the history of ŠKODA as a year
with landmark model ramp-ups, new motorsports
successes and numerous awards highlighting the
brand’s awareness in core – as well as growth mar-
kets – especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
JANUARY 2014
ŠKODA Octavia and ŠKODA
Superb voted ‘Best Cars 2014’
in ‘Auto Motor Sport’ readers’
survey
Top ranks for the ŠKODA Octavia
and ŠKODA Superb: More than
115,000 readers of the renowned
German motoring magazine ‘Auto
Motor Sport’ named the ŠKODA
Octavia and ŠKODA Superb best
cars of the year 2014 in their re-
spective classes.
632014 – A ŠKODA year in review
FEBRUARY 2014
Debut of the new ŠKODA
Octavia Scout announced
ŠKODA officially announced the new
ŠKODA Octavia Scout to celebrate its
world premiere at the Geneva Motor
Show. Powerful off-road look and in-
novative all-wheel drive technology
in combination with strong traction,
climbing, and start-up performance
make the ŠKODA Octavia Scout an
interesting alternative in the off-road
cars segment.
MARCH 2014
Debut of ŠKODA VisionC at the Geneva Motor Show
A successful presentation of the ŠKODA VisionC design
study at the Geneva Motor Show: The study sets the
course of the future ŠKODA vehicle design – towards
even greater emotions and dynamics, as well as light-
weight construction, optimized aerodynamics and the
application of state-of-the-art technology.
APRIL 2014
China premiere of three new
ŠKODA models
The ‘Auto China 2014’ in Beijing pro-
vided the stage for the China pre-
mieres of the new ŠKODA Octavia as
well as the ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback
Xindong and the urban version of the
ŠKODA Yeti. At a total of six models
now, ŠKODA doubled its model port-
folio produced in China.
64 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
ŠKODA
Highlights
2014
MAY 2014
Two presidents on a visit to ŠKODA
On 7 May, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vah-
land welcomed German President
Joachim Gauck and Czech President
Miloš Zeman at the ŠKODA AUTO
headquarters. On the agenda: various
tours, get-togethers with students
and apprentices, as well as a talk
about the potential of German-Czech
cooperation.
JUNE 2 014
Presentation of ŠKODA’s largest
bicycle portfolio ever
Back to the future: With a presentation of
the new ŠKODA bicycles, ŠKODA brought
to life the beginnings of the Company as
an innovative bicycle manufacturer 120
years ago. ŠKODA’s new portfolio com-
prises 14 high-quality bicycles that fur-
ther underscore the strong affinity of the
brand – the main sponsor of the Tour de
France – to cycling.
652014 – A ŠKODA year in review
JULY 2014
ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback honoured
with Red Dot Award
The jury of the internationally renowned Red
Dot Design Award honoured the both mod-
ern and timeless design of the new ŠKODA
Rapid Spaceback, another milestone in the
development of ŠKODA’s vehicle design. This
recognition for the ŠKODA Rapid Spaceback
brings the total of Red Dot Design Awards for
the ŠKODA brand to seven.
AUGUST 2014
Visit of China’s Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli to Mladá
Boleslav with large delegation
China’s Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli, China’s Minister of
Transport Yang Chuantang and a delegation of 65 members came
to Mladá Boleslav to gather information about current develop-
ments and to discuss the brand’s prospects on the Chinese mar-
ket. ŠKODA entered the Chinese market in 2007 and has since
generated steady growth in its most important individual market.
All in all, ŠKODA delivered more than 1.2 million vehicles to Chinese
customers in the past seven years.
66 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
ŠKODA
Highlights
2014
SEPTEMBER 2014
Gold medal for logistics systems
The European Logistics Associ-
ation (ELA) awarded the ŠKODA
logistics system with a gold medal
for its high quality and great effi-
ciency. Together with the state-of-
the-art parts centre, the modern
logistics centre is the backbone
of ŠKODA’s growth strategy. The
state-of-the-art equipment guar-
antees the reliable dispatch of up
25,000 orders per day to all rele-
vant global markets – not only for
ŠKODA vehicles, but also for other
brands of the Volkswagen Group.
OCTOBER 2014
ŠKODA Fabia world premiere in Paris
The new ŠKODA Fabia and the new ŠKODA Fabia Combi celebrated
their acclaimed world premieres at the Paris Motor Show. Complete-
ly redesigned, the look of both versions of the ŠKODA Fabia is now
more sporty and innovative than ever before. Numerous customiza-
tion and colouring options add to the attractiveness of the car.
672014 – A ŠKODA year in review
DECEMBER 2014
Production of ŠKODA’s one-millionth car in 2014
On 12 December, the one-millionth ŠKODA of the year
2014 rolled off the assembly line in Mladá Boleslav. The
anniversary vehicle was a ŠKODA Fabia 1.2 TSI/81 kW
in ‘Moon White’. This milestone marked a six-fold increase
in ŠKODA deliveries from 1991. Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried
Vahland commented: “ŠKODA is going to grow further.”
To this end, the Company is investing further in its Czech
and global production sites. The Company aims at deliv-
ering 1.5 million vehicles annually.
NOVEMBER 2014
Another record-breaking motorsports season
By winning the ‘China Rally Longyou’, ŠKODA Motorsport concluded the FIA
Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with a perfect track record of six wins in
six races. The team Kopecký/Dresler became the first duo ever to win the Driver’s
titles in the FIA European Championship (ERC) and the APRC in consecutive years.
The team Lappi/Ferm proved victorious in the ERC. In addition, private teams won
five national rally championships in Belgium, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia and Jordan.
68 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
A leap
back
in time
September 2014, the first-ever
‘Top City Classic Rally China’ in
Beijing and Shanghai begins:
Thousands of excited Chinese car
enthusiasts line the streets. They
don’t want to miss this amazing
premiere and the chance to see
ŠKODA showing its classic cars in
China for the very first time.
Unforgettable encounter:
European automobile tradition
presented in the streets of China
for the very first time – with the
legendary L&K 300 from 1923.
692014 – A ŠKODA year in review
70 2014 – A ŠKODA year in review
Since 2007, ŠKODA cars have been available in China, and for
many years now, ŠKODA has been among the most success-
ful brands in this important growth market. In 2014 alone, more
than 281,400 ŠKODA vehicles were delivered to customers in
China – just the right time to give the Chinese fans an opportu-
nity to learn about the brand’s rich tradition.
The ‘Top City Classic Rally China’, staged for the very first time last
year, provided the perfect setting for the endeavour: On two con-
secutive weekends in September 2014, the two Chinese mega-
cities of Beijing and Shanghai celebrated an extraordinary pre-
miere – and thousands of Chinese car enthusiasts enjoyed their
first encounter with two ŠKODA classics from eras that couldn’t
be any more different: a Laurin & Klement 300 from 1923, the old-
est vehicle in the competition, and a ŠKODA Felicia from 1961.
Apart from the great visual appeal of the two ŠKODA classics,
they also impressed the crowd with their reliability and perfor-
mance. Both completed the two rally courses of 500 kilometres
each, and the ŠKODA Felicia even finished second in the overall
ranking.
ŠKODA Motorsport is very active in the Chinese rally scene, with
the victory in the 2014 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) as
the highlight to date. However, participating in classic car events
such as the ‘Top City Classic Rally China’ is a vital additional mar-
keting instrument ŠKODA applies to expand its position in the
Chinese market.
“That was a great ŠKODA Classic debut in China, and at the same
time the perfect publicity for the brand,” confirmed Andreas
Hafemann, President of ŠKODA China. “The crowd’s enthusiasm
for our classic cars demonstrates how interested people are in
our history and how fascinated by our beautiful models.”
ŠKODA is consistently pursuing its growth ambitions in China.
After acquiring a sound standing in the Chinese market, ŠKODA
is now ready to take things to the next level – and give Chinese
customers a good sense of the brand’s attractiveness through
activities that convey the brand’s great emotional appeal.
There is great news for ŠKODA fans in China: The ‘Top City Clas-
sic Rally China’ was just a beginning. The history and the treas-
ure trove of one of the world’s oldest automotive brands for
sure still offers plenty to discover.
A far way from home:
The two ŠKODA
classic cars in China
served as impressive
ambassadors for the
successful Czech
brand and its rich
automobile tradition.
A leap
back
in time
Useful links
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information
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Highlights of ŠKODA Motorsport
News
www.skoda-auto.com/en/motorsport/news
ŠKODA Muzeum in Mladá Boleslav
Impressions of the new ŠKODA Muzeum
http://museum.skoda-auto.com
ŠKODA AUTO University Na Karmeli
http://en.savs.cz
ŠKODA AUTO Career website
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www.employerforlife.com
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