There is no manufacturer who has had such a drastic swing in reputation than Skoda. The Czech company were once not taken seriously and even commonly referred to as a “joke”, but now they are one of the most popular and reliable manufacturers in the world and compete fiercely with the likes of Audi and Volkswagen.
Since 2000, they have been a subsidiary of Volkswagen group and used as an entry brand and a way to sell to the Russian and Eastern European market in the wake of the Cold War. However, through clever marketing, innovative technology and improved design; Skoda eclipse many VW models and the future looks very bright for the manufacturer.
The transformation began with the VW takeover and the release of their two most recognisable models; the Fabia and the Octavia. These two models heavily influenced iconic vehicles such as the Volkswagen Polo, the SEAT Ibiza and the Volkswagen Golf. In 2000, Skoda massively boosted their reputation in the UK with a self-aware advertising campaign for the Fabia, with the slogan “it is a Skoda, honest”.
With a steadily improving reputation, Skoda set forth plans to double their annual salary by 2018. In 2015, their annual global sales had risen 1.8% and profit had risen by 6.5%. The very same year, they were voted the most dependable car brand in the UK and announced that they were working on an electric car with a range of over 300 miles, low cost and 15-minute charging time. This shows that not only are the Czech manufacturer a serious competitor in the market, but they are actually pioneers and their stock looks set to soar even higher in the near future.
Dominating the Road
Whilst motorists may have scoffed at the idea of purchasing a Skoda 40 years ago, these days it is a very different story. Their vehicles now dominate the roads and those in the market often first turn to the Czech brand due to their reputation and affordability. Specialists like John Clark carry a huge range of new and old, plus they will also have the best deals.
In the automotive industry, the swing in reputation is unprecedented and this looks only set to improve as they continue to set the bar high for themselves and subsequently their competitors. A fascinating history and what looks likely to be a remarkable future; Skoda are a force to be reckoned with.