RTOTY 2021 Skoda Enyaq image from CD 165RTOTY 2021 Skoda Enyaq image from CD 165


Skoda remains committed to switching to agency sales as boss says model ‘is the name of the game’

  • Agency model ‘is the name of the game’ says Skoda boss
  • Model will first be introduced for electric cars in the coming months
  • CEO says it’s at least as profitable for dealers as conventional model

Time 8:03 am, September 5, 2023

Skoda remains committed to adopting agency sales and is planning to switch to the model for its electric vehicles before the year is out.

That’s according to the firm’s CEO, Klaus Zellmer, who has told Car Dealer that agency is still ‘the name of the game’ for the Czech brand.

The outfit has already rolled out the model across much of Europe and will implement the system in the UK over the coming months.

Back in July, the firm told a Car Dealer survey that it would be introducing agency here in the next six months, but the latest comments have given more detail to Skoda’s plans.

Zellmer, a former boss at Porsche, says the company is currently planning to sell just its electric models – which include the Enyaq and Enyaq Coupe – via the agency model.

However, he predicts that as demand for petrol and diesel vehicles falls, the firm will eventually switch entirely to agency sales. 

Despite this, he also told Car Dealer that Skoda remains committed to ‘keeping the dealers’ and that the ‘human interface is important’ to the company.

The agency model is currently being adopted in countries such as Spain and Germany, with Zellmer saying that this process reduces ‘waste in the system’ and means that dealers don’t have to deal with large levels of investment in terms of stock.

There has long been scepticism from dealers over how the model allows them to make money, but Zellmer added that the system was ‘at least as profitable’ for dealers as the conventional sales model. 

However, among those to disagree with that is MG commercial director Guy Pigounakis, who described agency sales as a ‘margin grab’ at this year’s Car Dealer Live event in Gaydon.

He predicted that the model would fail as a result of ‘manufacturer arrogance’ and said MG would be sticking to a traditional retail model.

Earlier in the year, expert Iain Larkins, from Radius Law, told Car Dealer that it is ‘still unclear’ whether the model can actually be profitable for retailers.

Back at Skoda, the brand is set to reveal new versions of its Kodiaq SUV and Superb estate shortly, with both arriving with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines.

It will also introduce new battery-powered models while remaining ‘committed to vRS’, which is Skoda’s performance sub-brand. 

Zellmer says it’s ‘a fight’ when developing vehicles within the wider Volkswagen Group and that there’s ‘a competition’ when it comes to creating cars on the same platform.

‘We don’t just do a badge engineering exercise,’ he added, saying that ‘Volkswagen has taken a different approach’ with its cars. 

The new Kodiaq and Superb models, for example, use new rotary controllers for the heating and volume, whereas Volkswagen – in its new Passat, which uses the same platform as the Superb – has gone with a screen-only setup.

It’s a system that was much criticised in Volkswagen’s ID.3. 

Car Dealer Magazine's avatar

Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

More stories...

Heycar Advert
Server 108