There is talk happening at one of Volkswagen's brands of possibly entering the U.S. marketplace. What brand would that be? Skoda, the Czech brand known for building some impressive cars at surprising prices.
A spokesman tells Automotive News Europe that the brand is examining potential markets to introduce the brand.
"That includes North America," the spokesman said.
A decision on which markets will see Skoda entering is not expected anytime soon.
Rumblings of Skoda possibly coming to the U.S. started last week when AutoGuide found trademark applications filed by Skoda for a number of their models,
- Octavia (Hatchback and Wagon, Golf-Sized)
- Yeti (Crossover, Tiguan-Sized)
- Superb (Sedan and Wagon, Passat-Sized)
Now for the obvious question, why? Automotive News Europe reports that one of Skoda's key markets, Russia is experiencing an economic collapse, causing sales in the country to tumble. This has the company looking to other markets such as North America (which makes up 20 percent of the global car market).
Analysts are split as to whether or not Skoda should enter the U.S.
Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen tells German business paper Handelsblatt (who broke this story) that Volkswagen should pull out of the U.S. and replace it with Skoda.
"Skoda could be the cheapest solution" to VW Group's American problems, said Dudenhoeffer.
Other analysts such Frank Schwope from NordLB have their doubts. Schwope tells Reuters that the brand would have to 'fight tooth and nail in the United States' due to an already saturated market for cars.
"Skoda would do better to get engaged in emerging markets like India or South America," said Schwope.
Our take? This is just 'talk' at the moment, so Skoda might not come. Yes, they did file trademarks in the U.S., but that doesn't mean a car, let alone a brand is destined for the U.S. Also, Skoda is lacking in crossovers. They have one in the form of the Yeti and will be introducing an SUV later this year in Paris. For a place that is crazy about crossovers, only having one isn't the best plan.
Also, trying to make your way in the U.S. auto market is a difficult task - just ask Fiat. PSA Peugeot Citroën which announced they would be coming back to the U.S., will be spending the next ten years to make it possible.