Skoda has something of a cult following among CarAdvice consumers, a sub-group that’ll be delighted to hear about the company’s success of late.
The Czech member of the Volkswagen Group – based on brand tenets of practicality and value with premium architectures – is enjoying double-digit sales growth in Australia during 2017.
Industry figures show growth of 10.7 per cent, in a flat overall market, to 3013 units. July sales were up a huge 38 per cent over 2016, to 508 units – just two units behind Jeep.
Top-seller for the brand as ever is the Skoda Octavia mid-sized lift-back and wagon, which was just upgraded for MY18.
However, its sales are actually down 5 per cent to 1002 units, though the mix of $45k-plus RS sports derivatives remains much higher than the global average, and generally the single most popular variant.
Making up ground is the now-updated Skoda Fabia (738 units this year, up 39 per cent to bely a plummeting overall light-car segment) and the Superb range-topper, with 617 units (up about 86 per cent). Also up is the maligned (and soon-to-be-updated) Skoda Rapid, by 26 per cent to 246.
The other weak link is the now-defunct Yeti small SUV (down 52 per cent to 171), but this will presumably be redressed by the new VW Tiguan-based Skoda Karoq medium crossover due in early-ish 2018.
The growth in Skoda sales to 3013 units YTD puts it ahead of Peugeot, Mini, Volvo, Fiat and almost level with Porsche – though its market share of 0.4 per cent is still absolutely tiny.
The company has made some steps lately to help sales growth, beyond adding core products and updating others on a yearly basis. It’s given resources to modernising its 32-site dealer network, and self-evidently upped its ad spend.
Early this year it upgraded its warranty offering from three to five years on private, general fleet and government vehicles, while carrying over the unlimited-kilometre coverage for private use.