Skoda Finds Major Twist In Plan To Market SUV in U.S. - Volkswagen
Okay, now, here’s a small test: Do you know what the Skoda company manufactures or has manufactured? Take a few minutes and think about it, please.
Time is up: What’s your answer? (Here’s are some hints)
D. Cars and Trucks
E. All of the above
A Formidable Question
So, which ones do you want to circle? Again, take your time, after all, one question – for all the marbles – is pretty formidable, isn’t it?
To let you off the hook quickly, if you chose any of the answers, you would have been right. The choice was E, but, A to D would have been perfectly acceptable.
That’s just it. Skoda makes a lot of things well. For the U.S., the problem is that no one has ever heard of them, which is a shame because they have been around for more than 120 years since their founders pushed the first bicycles out the door in 1895. Today, Skoda is best known as a subsidiary of Volkswagen. It is a company that also wants to get into the U.S. market and has a model that can do it.
Skoda can make its way into the U.S. if they go with their strength, the Kodiaq. Okay, the spelling is weird, but, yes, it is named after a rather larger – and fearsome – North American ursine (yup, it’s a grizzly), so it would seem a natural for the U.S. market.
The only fly in the ointment is Volkswagen (isn’t it a shame when the owner wants a market all to itself, that some subsidiaries are frozen out. However, that's the way it is, at times. You can almost see the necessity of it, too. With Dieselgate pounding them, taking more cash than they had hoped it does make sense for VW to act this way). The automaker-owners of Skoda wants to sell a three-row, full-sized SUV here called the Teramont, starting in a couple of years. The Kodiaq is Skoda’s version of the same.
Quite A Conundrum
It’s quite a conundrum, says the thetruthaboutcars.com. On the one hand, Skoda has been hugely successful in its European market area. They want to continue that success. However, when the conglomerate of which you are a part wants to bring their model to the same market that you want to enter, it is good politics to step back.
Though it may be good politics to step back and let your corporate parent have the spotlight, Skoda’s reading of any tea leaves seems to be leading them on a path that says U.S. market. Why else would a top official for the Serbian firm call the Kodiaq a slam-dunk in the U.S. market where people, at least right now, are SUV-crazy.
The sales numbers back up Skoda. With car sales cooling down, across the board, crossover and full [-sized SUV sales are still sizzling hot. For some automakers, they are the difference between positive sales results and flat-lining.
So, while Skoda may step back for a year or so, don’t expect them to stay out of this end of the pool for very long, perhaps another year, at most. You see, all of the groundwork has been laid, and the trademarks have been approved. About the only thing that is left to do is get the Kodiaq prowling U.S. roads, even as the Teramont competes against. It.