More responsibility on the markets and less on electrification. Within the Volkswagen group, the Skoda brand is destined to become the ram in even more countries. It already represented the interests of the German giant in India, where it will launch the Kushaq SUV this year, but from now on it will also be the leader of operations in Russia (where the Bohemian house has grown by almost 7% during 2020) and in North Africa. The region had so far been assigned to Seat, which, however, had the task of working on the electrification of the car industry and on the production of zero-emission vehicles, apparently also on behalf of Skoda. another day number one Wayne Griffiths). The countries concerned are those of the Mediterranean belt: Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
The pandemic also hit the Czech Republic manufacturer’s balance sheet, which saved a profit of 756 million euros (-54.5%) and a return on sales of 4.4% (in 2019 it was 8.4% ). Thanks to the 39-day closure of the national plants, production contracted by 20.5% (almost 808 thousand units), while sales fell by 19.1% to just under 1.005 million. Revenues fell the least, “only” by 13.8% to 17.1 billion.
The SUVs are worth a third of the volumes of Skoda, which has its best seller in the Octavia: alone it exceeds 25% of the units sold, over 257 thousand last year, and precedes in the order Karoq, Kodiaq and Kamiq, respectively with over 137,000, almost 132,000 and 128,5000 pieces delivered. Also for the Freccia Alata, China is the first market, even if last year it struggled a lot because it lost almost 40%. Then followed by Germany, Russia, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom; Italy is the eighth market.
The new CEO Thomas Schäfer, one who knows emerging markets well having worked for years in South Africa and having also chaired the manufacturers’ organization of the black continent, recalled that Skoda has increased its penetration in Europe by half a point, which has risen to 5.4%. And he confirmed the 2.5 billion investment plan for the next 5 years: 1.4 billion for electric mobility, 650 million for digitization and the remaining 350 million for the adaptation of production sites.
In two years, for example, the new Superb and the next Volkswagen Passat will be assembled in Mladá Boleslav. The solution will make it possible to free around 150,000 units of production capacity in Kvasny, where the car that will take over from the Fabia wagon will be built and where even more SUVs will be “baked”. Like Seat in Spain, Skoda also hopes that the Volkswagen group will build one of the six Giga Factories for battery production in the Czech Republic.