26 March 2010
A few articles down the is VW's Group year, and this time it's a part of the group, Škoda from the Czech Republic. It achieved a new peak of sales of 684,000 cars, up 1.4% on 2008. China was the reason for the solid sales, with 123,000 sales (+107%).
In Germany, Škoda's second market, sales were up 44% to 162,000 units sold. Profit plunged 57%, due to selling more small cars which have lower margins and "measures to support sales". That last comment - without the spin - effectively means reducing prices to keep factories running.
Like most other car makers, Škoda is looking eastward to markets like China, India and Russia for growth. The marque mainly sells in Europe and China. There are vast areas of the world who do not get this brand but it is doing well where they are marketed.
As for the cars themselves, some models are conservative and others a little different, but that can be a good thing. They benefit greatly from sharing costs with other brands within the VW Group. The range is expanding and I expect that Škoda will have a good 2010.
The bottom line: Škodas are much better than they used to be and continue to improve.