Skoda: ‘unrecognisable’

Time 10:55 pm, February 24, 2012

SKODA has told Car Dealer to take a hard look at the brand now, because in two years’ time it will be ‘unrecognisable’.

The firm’s UK brand director exclusively told Car Dealer that thanks to new product and a bold corporate strategy, consumers will see Skoda as a totally different proposition by 2014.

‘You will not recognise Skoda in two years’ time,’ said Robert Hazelwood (pictured right). ‘In two years’ time you will look back at where we are currently and it will not be the same company.’

Hazelwood pointed to how Skoda has changed beyond recognition in the last five years as an example of how the firm can, and will, change into a manufacturer which can sell 60,000 cars a year, and see its dealers enjoying its businesses turning over as much as £10m a year.

‘I have been at Skoda for the last four years, and I have seen the remarkable journey the brand has taken in those years. The level of acceleration of new product coming along, changes to the CRM for our dealers, and a ramping up of the experience received by our customers will make us unrecognisable.’

Hazelwood added: ‘In two years’ time – and just from a dealer’s perspective – Skoda will have new corporate identity, showrooms that will be able to cater for eight cars, bigger dealership sites, and better dealership locations – not just small backwaters.’

Dealers can also expect to be selling more derivatives, such as VRS and Scout, of certain models.

One car that will reach Hazelwood’s transformation expectations will be a new contender to sit between Fabia and Octavia.

Currently dubbed ‘MissionL’ (pictured right) the car will be available in hatch and is expected to arrive in January 2013.

MissionL is just one model of a vast product offensive by the Czech brand which will see a new model launched approximately every six months over the next few years.

‘It’ll allow Octavia to move upwards into the Passat-sized sector, and the new Octavia will be available in VRS and Scout versions.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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