Motorhub attended Skoda’s annual press conference today where it said 2020 was ‘challenging’. That news was no surprise as the IMF states overall global economic output in 2020 fell by 3.5%. The motor industry suffered, and according to the industry group ACEA, European car manufacturers produced 4.2m fewer vehicles than expected.
Despite all of the disruption Skoda managed to produce over 1m vehicles in 2020. Temporary plant shut downs in Q2 (39 days) disrupted production but Skoda still found a way to remain profitable. The Volkswagen Group firm had sales revenue of €17b in 2020 (-14% on 2019) and delivered an operating profit of €756m. Skoda’s share of the European new car market even managed to grow to 5.4%. Skoda’s role within the group evolved in 2020 and overall production capacity will continue to grow at Skoda. Production of the new Skoda Superb and VW Passat due in 2023 is being moved to Bratislava and will happen side by side. Skoda also builds some vehicles for its partners in the VWG e.g. SEAT.
Skoda says with its Enyaq iV (electric car) heralds the dawn of new era for the historic brand. Three pillars will be at the heart of the brand’s success going forward. 1, The expansion of entry level offerings. 2, Skoda will explore new markets for growth such as India with its Kushaq and in other regions like North Africa and 3, Skoda is investing in diversity and promises a green future. Under the banner of ‘Next Level Efficiency’ Skoda will ‘Expand, Explore, Engage’ as part of its 2030 plan Skoda will continue its search for greater efficiencies and belt tightening. Up next in terms of Ireland interest the new Fabia small car launches in May (EU) and a Fabia Combi will join it in 2023. Skoda told us its electric cars will play an increasing role in Europe in the coming years where its says it is investing €2.5b by 2025.
In four days Skoda will celebrate 30 very successful years as a VW Group firm – wow, time flies – I can still remember the communists-era Skodas… now there’s another story!