Octavia RS wagon the star of the show

Skoda Australia is seeing some decent growth so far this year, with sales increasing by 13.1 per cent year-to-date (YTD) as of May 30.

May's VFACTs figures also revealed that the Czech brand was up 34.1 per cent on May 2017, helped by double-digit growth across its Octavia and Superb model lines.

The Octavia shifted 196 units for the month of May, which may be minuscule compared to the circa-2000 figures posted by top-selling rivals, though the small liftback and wagon recorded 42 per cent growth over the same month last year, and is up 4.6 per cent YTD.

Meanwhile, the larger Superb posted an increase of 29.4 per cent over last year's monthly figure, though the Czech twin to Volkswagen's Passat is still down 1.8 per cent YTD.

Skoda's Kodiaq SUV shifted 129 units last month and sits at 580 YTD in its first full year on sale, while the new Karoq managed 21 registrations ahead of its official on-sale date on July 1. By comparison, the related Volkswagen Tiguan posted a figure of 1110.

Elsewhere in the range, the Rapid hatchback made 38 registrations, an increase of 8.6 per cent on the same month last year and currently sits 0.7 per cent up YTD – though it's only beating its 2017 figure by one unit.

Finally, the Fabia has struggled so far this year. Its 74-unit result for May is down 41.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2017, while its YTD figure is also behind 48.2 per cent. An upcoming facelift could help buck the downward trend.

The discontinued Octavia Scout and Yeti are the only other models posting significant losses, but these have been off the market for some time now, so it comes as no surprise.

Speaking with CarAdvice, Skoda Australia's communications boss, Paul Pottinger, said the brand's growth is currently built on the popularity of its performance wagons, despite SUVs quickly becoming our market's vehicle of choice.

"In a predominantly SUV market, Skoda Australia is breaking its own records in part because of wagons – a type of car that by no means all manufacturers bother with any longer," he said.

"Of the 590 cars sold in May (itself a record for that moth), almost 200 of them were Octavias, more than half of which – around 60 per cent - were RS variants and majority of these were RS245 wagons (pictured). More than 70 per cent of all Octavia sales are wagons."

"Also supposedly unfashionable are big cars, yet Skoda's next best seller is the Superb, most orders of which are for sedan variants," he continued.

"That said, SUVs are coming to comprise an ever greater component of Skoda's offering. Demand for the Kodiaq, now with Sportline trim, exceeds supply. As ever with Skoda, almost all Australian Kodiaq customers avail themselves of the optional packs."

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