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VW News: Under Consideration: Skoda Entering the U.S. Market


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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.

 

Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required), Handelsblatt (Subscription Required), Reuters, AutoGuide


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End story, The Euro market needs to REDUCE, not Grow the number of brands they have. There is still too many auto makers in this global market. I expect some to go away.

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Do they really think they can pull off a re-badge job? When the American brands did it...well, it eventually utterly failed.

 

So a tarnished automaker...looking to set itself right....

 

"I've never heard of Skoda"

 

"Oh lemme Google it"

 

"Oh......oh, so that's what VW is doing...."

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I think the only way they could sell is if they were like a discount car brand.  If they are priced the same as VW, it is pointless, no one is buying VWs.  And since Hyundai and Kia want to move out of that discount area and have fancy trim levels, there is that open part of the market for a cheap car.

 

I think they are better off just selling the Yeti as a VW, as a inexpensive crossover it would sell.

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VW is in a roCk and a hard place. If they build Camcord rivals, they are not faithful to enthusiasts - their sales of the Jetta and Passat peaked and with dieselgate have fallen off. If they sell more of their Euro models here...with all of the options available from there, here...then they are bona fide Audi competitors, yet with a smaller target market for VW in general, and a lower price point...they become redudant and useless.

 

 

I think they have to do what GM/Ford now do with global model lines. They are almost completely identical, but change trims and specifications for the separate markets. I think they have managed to raise awareness with Americans that their Jetta and Passat can be decent sellers and are now sensibly sized to have a chance. 

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Well that's one way to fix the tarnished Volkswagen brand in the US.  Sell the same cars as Skodas instead.

I was thinking the same thing.

I serious though in this way of thinking. Perhaps you are joking and less cynical than I am.

VW wants world domination and now that VW is practically done in the US market for mega volume, maybe they think Skoda could pick up the slack.

Or at least Skoda could give it a shot...they cant do worse than the VW name....

Edited by oldshurst442
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Could be an interesting opportunity...the Yeti looks like a slick little CUV, without the blandness typical of the segment.   And Czech brands (other than beers) aren't well known in the US, so they could play up their origin story in advertising..

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Could be an interesting opportunity...the Yeti looks like a slick little CUV, without the blandness typical of the segment.   And Czech brands (other than beers) aren't well known in the US, so they could play up their origin story in advertising..

Nem would not fly here as Yeti is already  copy righted as a very cool product line.

 

http://yeticoolers.com/

 

These coolers even their Tumblers keep ice till 24hrs later. Hot drinks or cold drinks will stay as they are till the next day. I have never been more impressed with a Quality American Built Product.

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Nonsequitor. A copyright for a tumbler should have no relevance to a car name.

 

That is what everyone said about Apple and their i-phone, i-pad, i-computer, i-this, i-that, etc................

 

I can see Yeti not wanting their high quality products linked to an auto company products out of Europe that has questionable business practices  / quality.

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      The interior of the ID.4 mirrors the futuristic look of the exterior, with functionality almost completely controlled by touch or voice control. The 5.3-inch ID.Cockpit (digital driver display) replaces the traditional instrument cluster and is operated with touch-sensitive controls on the leather-wrapped multifunction heated steering wheel. Three tiles show the most important information, with the display for battery status and range underneath. The traditional gearshift is replaced by a large rocker switch on the right of the ID.Cockpit, and a control panel to the left of the steering wheel integrates the lighting functions, including automatic headlights.
      A 10-inch Discover Pro touch infotainment display is located in the middle of the dash panel, angled slightly towards the driver. This screen can be configured to driver preference, and manages the standard navigation system, all telematics, entertainment, driver-assistance systems and vehicle settings; it is upgraded to a 12-inch Discover Pro Max infotainment display with the Statement package. Menus can be moved using gesture control, simply swiping one’s hand in front of the screen. Sliders for volume and temperature adjustment are located on the inclined surface below the display.
      “Hello ID.” natural voice control is standard in the ID.4. The car follows the instructions spoken by the driver and passengers and is capable of understanding many commands from everyday language, such as “Hello ID., I’m cold” to turn up the heat.
      The ID.4 will feature ID. Light—a light strip below the windshield to support drivers in a host of situations with intuitive lighting effects in different colors and sound prompts. For example, ID. Light signals to the driver that the vehicle’s drive system is active and that the car has been unlocked or locked. It accentuates information issued by some of the driver-assistance and navigation systems and signals, both visually and acoustically, details like charge status indicator, braking prompts and incoming phone calls.
      The steering wheel, steering column, and the housings for the display and control panels in the doors are finished in Piano Black. Seats in the ID.4 are finished in black cloth on entry models and Lunar Gray or Galaxy Black leatherette on models with the Statement package. Entry ID.4 models feature six-way adjustable seats with power recline, while the Statement package adds 12-way power seats, with massage lumbar and memory, as well as 30-color ambient lighting.
      ID.4 offers a range of comfort and convenience features found throughout the rest of the brand’s lineup. Standard features include rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone Climatronic® climate control, and KESSY® keyless access. To manage cold temperatures, the ID.4 features a standard heated steering wheel, heated side mirrors and washer nozzles, and, on all-wheel-drive models, a heated windshield. The Statement package adds SiriusXM® satellite radio with a three-month trial, an adjustable trunk floor, and a power tailgate with Easy Open & Close.
      To complete the high-tech package, ID.4 offers standard wireless mobile charging, wireless App-Connect, and Volkswagen Car-Net® with in-car WiFi capability when you subscribe to a data plan. Car-Net Hotspot allows passengers to access the internet with up to four connected devices simultaneously, including tablets, smartphones, laptops, gaming devices, and more—all at 4G LTE-enabled speed.
      Safety & Driver Assistance Technology
      To help protect occupants, the ID.4 provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard—front and side airbags for front passengers, and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions. Additionally there are a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
      With regards to the battery, an extruded aluminum frame protects the battery system against damage in the event of a crash, and a replaceable aluminum underbody panel protects the battery against the road. Additionally, the battery is also disabled if the vehicle is involved in a serious accident.
      With the standard IQ.DRIVE® advanced driver assistance technology, all ID.4 models include Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist); Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist); Travel Assist; and Emergency Assist. In addition to IQ.DRIVE features, the ID.4 includes Dynamic Road Sign Display; Park Distance Control; and High Beam Control (Light Assist).
      Pricing & Sales
      Pricing for the ID.4 starts at $39,995, for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro (available in the first quarter of 2021), before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500 is applied. With those credits, the entry price of ID.4 is on par with the 2021 Tiguan SEL.  For highly qualified customers through Volkswagen Credit, the monthly lease payment for a 36-month lease with 10,000 miles a year, is $379 per month with $3,579 due at signing, excluding tax, title, license, options and dealer fees.
      Starting later in 2021, the ID.4 AWD Pro ($43,695) will be available. Both Pro models carry largely the same equipment, with AWD models putting out 302 hp, and adding a heated windshield and tow hitch. These models can be additionally outfitted with two packages—Statement ($4,500), and Gradient ($1,500), which is only offered with Statement.
      The ID.4 launches with a limited-run ID.4 1st Edition (MSRP $43,995). The 1st Edition models feature the same content as the Pro model, and Statement package (minus illuminated VW logo) and Gradient package come standard. These models also include unique features including accelerator and brake pedals with “play” and “pause” logos, the steering wheel and column, radio bezel and door island finished in Electric White, 1st Edition badging, black mirror caps, and a tow hitch.
      Volkswagen plans to offer the ID.4 electric vehicle across all 50 states, and throughout its network of more than 600 dealers. A reservation platform debuts today on VW.com, allowing customers to reserve an ID.4 before it hits dealer showrooms, with a fully refundable $100 reservation fee. As vehicle production starts, reservation holders will be invited to confirm their order with an additional fully refundable $400 vehicle deposit. From placing a reservation, to production and through delivery, the customer can see where they stand and when they can expect their ID. 4 to arrive at their preferred local VW dealer in a simple, transparent process. At that time, the customer can transact with their dealer and complete their purchase.
    • By William Maley
      When Kia revealed the new Soul to the U.S. in 2018, they announced that the EV would be arriving sometime a year later. 2019 came and the automaker announced that the Soul EV had been pushed back to 2020. A few months later, the launch date was pushed to 2021. Now, an internal source at Kia's U.S. office has revealed to Roadshow that the Soul EV isn't coming at all.
      According to the source, a number of factors played into this decision. Some of the factors such as limited supply of batteries and motors, along with increased demand for the model Europe were used to explain the last delay. Also, the Soul EV has independent rear suspension. The standard Soul doesn't, which would make the EV more expensive to bring to the U.S. and add complexity. 
      Adding fuel to the fire, Kia has removed any mention of the Soul EV on their U.S. consumer and media sites. There is also no mention of the Soul EV on the EPA site. Previously, the vehicle was mentioned with a range of 243 miles.
      When reached by Roadshow, a Kia spokesperson said they haven't heard anything about the Soul EV being canned for the U.S., but did confirm they have "no pending plans to introduce before 2021 at the earliest."
      We'll keep you posted on this story.
      Source: Roadshow

      View full article
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