William Maley

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

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William Maley    392

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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dfelt    1,771

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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ocnblu    733

If Sixty8 were here he would cheer this rumor.  I do like the Yeti.

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Suaviloquent    713

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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smk4565    321

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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Suaviloquent    713

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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oldshurst442    985

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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Jeremy Clarkson likes the Skoda Yeti, he had a helicopter land on the roof of one while he was driving it.

It's no Dacia Duster, but the Yeti seems like a pretty nice little CUV..

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dfelt    1,771

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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dfelt    1,771

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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