Superb Laurin & Klement
On January 30, 2012 ŠKODA has produced its 14-millionth car: The jubilee vehicle – a Superb 2.0 TDI of the ‘Laurin & Klement’ special edition – rolled off the assembly line at the Czech plant at Kvasiny today. The vehicle painted in the color ‘magnetic brown metallic’ is designated for delivery to a German customer. The production jubilee is another milestone for the sustained growth of the automobile manufacturer. Until 2018, ŠKODA wants to increase its worldwide sales to at least 1.5 million units per year. With a total of 879,200 units in 2011, the company sold more cars then ever in its 117-year history.
“This jubilee is an impressive expression of our growth strategy,” says ŠKODA chairman of the board, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. “We are expanding at a high speed. Almost two thirds of the 14 million cars built by the company were produced and sold in the past 20 years, four million of which were produced in the past 5 years alone.” The current milestone illustrates the very dynamic development of the brand and, at the same time, points toward the great significance of its affiliation with the Volkswagen Group in the year 1991. “We thank the entire ŠKODA team, which has made this development possible and which can rightly be proud of its achievement,” emphasizes Vahland.
In the coming years, the Czech manufacturer wants to continue to expand within the framework of its comprehensive growth strategy. “14 million produced cars are an incentive for us to raise the speed of growth once more” stresses Michael Oeljeklaus, the ŠKODA board member for Production and Logistics. Until the year 2018, annual ŠKODA sales are to increase to at least 1.5 million units. To accomplish this goal, ŠKODA began the largest model offensive of its history last year. With the small car Citigo and the compact sedan Rapid sold in India, the sixth and seventh model series already celebrated their sales premieres at the end of 2011. In the coming years, ŠKODA wants to introduce an average of one new model in the market every six months.
For this purpose, the manufacturer is increasing capacities in its three Czech, as well as in the international plants. In the main factory at Mladá Boleslav, the production capacity for the Octavia and new ŠKODA car is increased from 800 to 1,200 vehicles per day. At the plant in the Northern Bohemian town of Vrchlabí, ŠKODA focuses on the manufacture of the direct shift gearbox DQ 200 for the entire Volkswagen Group. At the plant in Kvasiny, production capacities for the compact SUV Yeti were enhanced. A doubling of the capacity to a total of 100,000 Yeti vehicles per year was realized for the Kvasiny site in 2011.
At the same time, ŠKODA continues the consistent internationalization of the brand, particularly focusing on strong growth in the emerging markets of China, Russia and India. Starting at the end of 2012, the compact SUV Yeti will be produced in China in cooperation with Shanghai Volkswagen. Moreover, the brand will commence production of a new compact sedan in China at the beginning of 2013. In Russia, a second production site following the one in Kaluga has been in operation since 2011; it builds the Yeti that is sold in the Russian market. This joint project with Volkswagen and the Russian GAZ Group is located in Nizhniy Novgorod. In India, capacities are growing as well. Thus, the new compact sedan Rapid has been built in Pune since 2011.