Skoda US launch decision set for autumn 2017

Posted on All Car

Skoda appears increasingly likely to launch in North America, with a decision expected in autumn 2017 according to boss Bernhard Maier.

The launch of the Skoda Kodiaq SUV, coupled with an aggressive five-strong SUV strategy for coming years, has raised the possibility of Skoda entering the world’s second biggest car market – behind China although no timeline for the entry has been set.

Read our first drive of a Skoda Kodiaq prototype

“Today we are in 102 markets, and if you go back through our history then you can see that we expanded first by going east, to China, Russia, India and so forth,” said Maier. “Now we can looking further west and evaluating the possibilities.”

Maier confirmed an investigation was underway so that he could fully understand America’s market dynamics before deciding whether to commit to launching Skoda in the US.

“I expect the report to be ready next autumn, but we are not under any time pressures to make a decision,” he said. “I prefer to make the decision when I know the facts and I want to know that if we go there, it is with a focus on growing step by step. We must have the right products and the right infrastructure.”

Maier admitted that the potential move also hinged on new launches like the Kodiaq meeting ambitious sales targets.

“Our business has developed Strategy 2025, but each step requires success,” he said. “Only then can we invest in new segments, enter new markets and stay ahead of the emerging digitilisation of our eco system.”

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