“Since we entered the Chinese market ten years ago, ŠKODA has developed very positively on the Chinese automotive market. Today, more than a quarter of our total annual sales are delivered to customers in China,” says ŠKODA CEO Bernhard Maier. “We will continue to accelerate along this growth path over the coming years by broadening our model range. The primary focus of our model campaign on the Chinese market is the expansion of our SUV range: With the ŠKODA KODIAQ, our currently largest SUV is being launched on the market and additional attractive models will follow shortly after. Our goal is to double our deliveries in China to over 600,000 units by 2020.”
ŠKODA was a pioneer in the Chinese automotive market. As early as 1936, the brand had five trade representatives in the region. In 2007, the Czech manufacturer returned to the Chinese market. At that time, ŠKODA began locally producing the OCTAVIA under the umbrella of SAIC Volkswagen. In close cooperation with the Chinese joint venture partner, China became the largest single market for ŠKODA in 2010. The first million vehicles had been delivered after 75 months, the second million cars in just 42.
As a bestseller, the ŠKODA OCTAVIA enjoys the greatest popularity. Among the two million vehicles delivered in China, there were almost 1,107,000 ŠKODA OCTAVIAs, more than 305,000 ŠKODA RAPIDs, nearly 268,000 ŠKODA SUPERBs, more than 251,000 ŠKODA FABIAs and around 69,000 ŠKODA YETIs. Today, the brand is one of the established volume producers in the People’s Republic. A total of six ŠKODA series are sold in China: FABIA, RAPID, RAPID SPACEBACK, OCTAVIA, YETI and SUPERB. The launch of the first large SUV ŠKODA KODIAQ takes place on 19 April 2017.
2016 was the first year that ŠKODA sold more than 300,000 vehicles in China – a record for the brand. Compared to the previous year, ŠKODA grew by 12.6 percent to 317,100 vehicles (2015: 281,700 vehicles) in its strongest individual market.
ŠKODA will be presenting several highlights at Auto Shanghai, held from 19 to 28 April. The brand’s appearance at the motor show is mainly characterised by the change to e-mobility: The VISION E study provides the company’s first brand-specific outlook on the future of individual mobility. The emotive five-door SUV coupé can travel up to 500 kilometres purely on electric and achieves level 3 autonomous driving. Electromobility plays a central role in the company’s global growth strategy. ŠKODA’s first fully electric-powered series-produced vehicle will be launched in 2020. By 2025, the brand will have expanded its offer to include five purely electrically driven vehicles in various segments.
The market launch of the ŠKODA KODIAQ is another highlight at the Auto Shanghai. Since its world premiere last September, both the Chinese media and customers have eagerly awaited the ŠKODA KODIAQ. The ŠKODA KODIAQ features all of the brand’s strengths: with a distinctive design and exceptional space, and with practical intelligence and innovative technologies that would otherwise only be found in higher vehicle classes. The market launch of the ŠKODA KODIAQ marks the starting signal for the brand’s SUV campaign in China and will help ŠKODA to develop new dynamically growing market segments.
The premiere of ŠKODA OCTAVIA COMBI is another highlight at this year’s Auto Shanghai. This model variant is being presented to the Chinese public for the first time.
ŠKODA allows Chinese customers’ specific requirements and preferences to be incorporated into the concept, design and equipment of newly developed models. With the SUV campaign, which starts with the launch of the KODIAQ, ŠKODA is transferring its expressive design to the SUV segment and underlines the brand’s emotional power.
ŠKODA will continue to develop its position and presence in the Chinese market in the future. During the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Czech Republic on March 30, 2016, Volkswagen, SAIC Motor Corporation Limited and ŠKODA AUTO signed a Memorandum of Understanding laying out investment plans of more than two billion euros over five years. The aim is to expand the current model series, for example, vehicles with alternative drives and several SUVs.