Nothing stirs up lovers and cynics fairly just like the potential launch of a brand new model in the US. Over the previous a number of years, we’ve reported on the motions being made by established European gamers anticipating a skinny wedge of the nation’s big car-buying pie — gamers like PSA group, which is now within the early days of a decade-long return to the U.S. market.
Much less thrilling, particularly contemplating the extent of zeal expressed for quirky French vehicles, is the rumored emergence of the Skoda model on this facet of the Atlantic. As soon as a lesser participant within the Volkswagen Group fold, the Czech automaker is having fun with big gross sales will increase. There’s a various lineup of autos, together with a seemingly made-for-America SUV, the Kodiaq. The model even filed trademark functions for mannequin names.
So, ought to we count on a go-ahead choice within the months forward, just like the model’s management hinted finally 12 months? Nope. Skoda has higher issues to do.
In accordance with Autocar, Skoda is simply too tied up with a brand new automobile challenge to fret a lot about the US. Due to this, U.S. enlargement plans are firmly resting on the again burner.
What has Skoda’s braintrust too busy lately? A current partnership with India’s Tata Motors to co-develop a low-priced automobile for rising markets. The U.S. could have legions of car-hungry consumers, however so too do different nations, a few of which — like India — are following within the footsteps of China, which has seen personal automotive possession skyrocket in recent times.
“We are going to want extra time to work on the US plans now,” mentioned Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier. “The Group has requested us to guide improvement of a platform with a robust concentrate on India and to research constructing that enterprise sustainably and in a predictable method.”
“That may be a big process, and we should at all times method tasks one step at a time,” he continued. “There isn’t a hurry to hurry into the US and no deadline to even resolve if we must be trying to go there. There’s no must decide immediately.”
When you’ll recall, Skoda mentioned it could ship a agency “sure” or “no” on the U.S. query by the top of this 12 months. In August of 2016, Maier informed a German newspaper, “After we speak about our plans till 2025, then you definately can’t miss some of the essential automotive markets on the earth. Due to this fact, we look at underneath what situations and with what vehicles the doorway to the U.S. market could be doable.”
A few of that groundwork included submitting trademark functions, together with ones for the recent Octavia VRS sport sedan and Yeti SUV. Nonetheless, whereas a number of of the model’s autos might discover favor with U.S. consumers (Maier calls the three-row Kodiaq a “slam dunk”), naysayers stay. Amongst them, Volkswagen brass, who really feel Skoda’s SUVs would compete with its utility-heavy U.S. comeback plan, doubtlessly cannibalizing gross sales.
[Image: Volkswagen Group]