Skoda to launch two new compact vehicles by 2012

Skoda will launch two all-new compact vehicles in the next two years as it aims to build on a record 2010 and double sales by 2018.
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The Volkswagen-owned Czech manufacturer will introduce a new ‘City Car’ later this year, which is understood to be based on the forthcoming Volkswagen Up! platform.

Skoda Chairman, Dr Winfried Vahland, said the all-new compact vehicle would become Skoda’s entry-level offering and open up the brand to a completely new customer base.

“This car is our answer to the increasingly strong demand for small cars with low fuel consumption and affordable costs of operation and offers a new sales potential in Europe for us,” Dr Vahland said.

As is the way with volume vehicles in the Volkswagen Group family, the Skoda City Car will feature a range of small-capacity petrol and diesel engines, expected to range from 1.0 to 1.2 litres.

Next year will also see the introduction of an all-new compact sedan, which will fit in between the current Fabia small hatch and medium-sized Octavia.

The 2012 vehicle will draw inspiration from the Skoda VisionD concept that was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. Expect the vehicle to inherit the concept’s sharp grille and headlight treatment, as well as its overall more athletic and purpose-built appearance.

Skoda says both new models will stay true to the brand’s “Simply clever” ethos, becoming practical vehicles with optimised interior space and an “outstanding” price/value ratio.

Skoda is again on track to break sales records in 2011. In the first two months of the year, global sales have increased almost 25 percent compared with 2010 to 132,000.

Last year, the Octavia represented almost half of all Skoda’s sales around the world.

In its domestic market of the Czech Republic, Skoda’s market share is more than 34 percent. So far in Australia in 2011, Skoda sales are 26.2 percent ahead of the same time last year, due largely to the increased popularity of the Superb.