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VW News: Skoda Puts Plans for U.S. On Hold


William Maley

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Last summer, Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier said a decision on whether or not the brand would come to the U.S. would be made sometime next year. But it seems that decision has been put on the back burner.

Autocar reports that Skoda is taking the lead on developing a new low-cost vehicle for emerging markets. Earlier this year, Volkswagen had entered a partnership with Indian automaker Tata Motors to do the same. However, this would be dissolved as cost targets were not met.

“We will need more time to work on the US plans now. The Group has asked us to lead development of a platform with a strong focus on India and to investigate building that business sustainably and in a predictable manner," said Maier.

“That is a huge task, and we must always approach projects one step at a time. There is no hurry to rush into the US and no deadline to even decide if we should be looking to go there. There’s no need to make a decision right away.

The last two lines are very interesting, considering that Maier was gung-ho on entering the the U.S. last year. As we reported back in December, an anonymous Volkswagen board member said it would be mad for Skoda to enter the U.S., hinting that plans were scrapped.

We'll keep you posted if anything changes.

Source: Autocar


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Doh, I think many here on this forum knew Skoda would be stupid to enter the US. Plus as VW focuses on EV auto's, it makes sense for Skoda to cover the entry level ice auto and fill in other areas for VW since not all 3rd world countries have the electrical infrastructure in place to support ev auto's.

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That goes against what I heard from VW corporate people just as recently as a month ago. Sounds like it's already decided upon.

 

As long as it's done right, it could be a smart move. Move VW slightly upmarket, with continued pursuit of electric models, and let Skoda fill the vacuum. Place Skoda where S level VW's currently reside and keep them geared towards gas models. I believe that was the plan in the first place.

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