Coca-Cola and ŠKODA: more than 30 years together

Coca-Cola and ŠKODA: more than 30 years together

Coca-Cola representatives in Czechia, Slovakia and other countries drive ŠKODA cars. The partnership between these two established brands has lasted over 30 years. Find out how this kind of long-term cooperation has taken place.

31. 10. 2022 Škoda World

Sales representatives, managers and other employees of Coca-Cola HBC in the Czech Republic and Slovakia drive ŠKODA cars. The partnership between the two brands dates back to the FAVORIT model, i.e. to the early 1990s, and during that time the company’s local branches have used thousands of the Czech brand’s cars.

Coca-Cola uses practically all available ŠKODA models (in the photo, from left: OCTAVIA COMBI, ENYAQ COUPÉ RS iV and FABIA COMBI).

The company uses virtually all models on offer. ŠKODA’s compact cars are mainly used for the day-to-day work of sales reps; the OCTAVIA’s amazing spaciousness has proven indispensable to the company; and the luxury SUPERB serves the needs of management. The newest additions to the Škoda portfolio, the ENYAQ iV and, most recently, the ENYAQ COUPÉ RS iV, are offered to the most successful sales managers for business and pleasure. ŠKODA AUTO cars are also used by Coca-Cola’s branches in other European countries.

Stanislav Erben, for example, a Coca-Cola sales rep who has been with the company since 1995, confirms the long-standing connection between the two brands in the Czech Republic. “I started out with a FORMAN, then a FELICIA was my company car, then I changed between different generations of the FABIA, and at one point I had a ROOMSTER,” he says of his more than 25-year relationship with ŠKODA cars. In that time, he says, he has driven around 750,000 kilometres in the Czech carmaker’s models.

His praise for ŠKODA cars is endorsed by his slightly younger colleague Ondřej Lelek. He has been with the company for 18 years and, in addition to the FELICIA and FABIA, has also tried out the ROOMSTER, YETI and KAROQ. He commends the cars as modern and reliable.

Ondrej-Lelek-copy_e858d228 Ondřej Lelek
Coca-Cola HBC sales rep

However, it is not only ŠKODA cars’ reliability that makes them the first choice for Coca-Cola HBC. Safety and ecology also play a big role. The company buys cars with extensive safety equipment. “All the models in our fleet, from the FABIA to the ENYAQ iV, are equipped with safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, Lane Assist, adaptive cruise control, driver fatigue sensor, headlight assist, mobile phone mirroring and more. Thanks to this, we have managed to significantly reduce the number of accidents: compared to around 70 in 2013, we are now at one tenth of that figure. And we’re pleased to say that none of our employees have had any serious injuries,” explains Martin Prídala, fleet manager for Coca-Cola HBC Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Martin-Pridala-copy_39186372 Martin Prídala
Coca-Cola HBC Czechia and Slovakia fleet manager 

The road to carbon neutrality

Coca-Cola HBC has big environmental goals. The company wants to be carbon neutral by 2040 and to reduce its fleet emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 2018. That’s why the company is opting for CNG-efficient ŠKODA cars wherever possible, and also has plug-in hybrid OCTAVIA iV and SUPERB iV models in its fleet that combine ecology and economy. As well as the aforementioned ENYAQ iV.

The company sees electric vehicles as the future and plans to equip its dealerships, which today mainly use models such as the FABIA or SCALA, with them. For that reason it is now also letting them try out the ENYAQ iV. Currently, Coca-Cola HBC Czech Republic and Slovakia is expanding its fleet with the fully electric SUV, including the ENYAQ COUPÉ RS iV in a design bearing the slogan “Zero Sugar, Zero Emissions”. And it is these cars that the company uses for its sales representatives. In fact, the best performers in a given month always receive an ENYAQ iV as their company car for the next month. This not only is an interesting motivational tool for employees, but it also allows them to try out how the electric car will work for them.

ENYAQ COUPÉ RS iV sporting the slogan Zero Cukru, Zero CO2

“The response to the ENYAQ COUPÉ RS iV from our sales reps has been very positive, despite their initial wariness of electric cars. They definitely don’t want to part with the car at the end of the month, and when asked if they could imagine using an electric car all year round, they say yes,” says Martin Prídala. The proof of their satisfaction is that in four months in action each of the cars used in this way has covered around 25,000 kilometres.

Nothing but good experiences

Kamila Fells, a sales representative who has already been lucky enough to drive an ENYAQ COUPÉ RS iV for a month, confirms this satisfaction. It was her first experience with an electric car, but she took it on the road all the way to Nuremberg and said she really enjoyed driving the car. “It was amazing. I love the smooth drive and the car’s great performance, and the ENYAQ iV looks really great too,” she says. On her trip abroad, she then discovered that “Germany is a charger’s paradise, but even in the Czech Republic I didn’t have a problem with charging.” She mostly looked for fast charging stations when she was abroad, using lower power chargers in Czechia.

“It was amazing. I love the car’s smooth drive and high performance,” says Kamila Fells, praising her experiences with the ENYAQ COUPÉ RS iV

Her colleague Ivan Janeček is also enthusiastic about ŠKODA’s electric car. “I have driven it for about 4,500 kilometres. I wanted to enjoy the car and give it a proper try-out,” he says. He also praises the smoothness and power of the car’s drive and highlights the car’s recuperation ability, where in suitable terrain it can sometimes travel dozens of kilometres without cutting a kilometre off its range. “Charging was easy to master and I quickly figured out where to charge without having to wait,” adds Janeček.

Ivan-Janecek-copy_2f0962a0 Ivan Janeček
Coca-Cola HBC sales rep

Based on this positive experience, Coca-Cola is also looking to further expand its electric ŠKODA fleet: more units of the ENYAQ iV are on the way. “By 2025, we want our number of all-electric SUVs to be in triple figures. We are also looking forward to the next electric models that ŠKODA is going to roll out,” Martin Prídala concludes.

Coca-Cola has used thousands of ŠKODAs since the 1990s and this cooperation continues to this day.

Europe-wide cooperation

ŠKODA’s cooperation with Coca-Cola is also intensive on a European scale. “This is partly due to the fact that the Czech carmaker is part of Volkswagen Group, so we are able to supply them with both practical ŠKODA cars, which are particularly popular with sales representatives and middle management, and Volkswagen utility vehicles suitable for transporting goods,” says Luboš Vnenk, ŠKODA’s fleet marketing manager. ŠKODA has long been one of the most widely used car brands in Coca-Cola's corporate fleet in Europe. The cars’ spaciousness, first-class workmanship and Simply Clever solutions help many of the beverage giant’s sales reps in their daily lives. The company’s management is especially appreciative of the cars’ reasonable purchase prices and value for money, and of their low running costs. “Our Coca-Cola vehicles are used in almost 30 European countries. We have a particularly strong presence in Central European countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, but we also have a large fleet in Switzerland and Norway, for example,” says Vnenk. What’s more, the two companies share a strong historical legacy and bold vision. Coca-Cola has been a long-term trendsetter on the European market in the operation of low-emission vehicles (CNG) and, more recently, in fleet electrification. The company is undoubtedly one of the world’s most successful brands, which is why Škodians in Mladá Boleslav are proud to have been its reliable partner for more than 30 years now.