Company & Group
Four SUV models for China
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The ŠKODA brand celebrates its 10th anniversary on the Chinese market this year
Zachary Mark Hollis
Head of V3C – Sales region China
A new team at ŠKODA AUTO headed by former SAIC ŠKODA Sales Manager Zac Hollis is now in charge of the Chinese market.
Zac Hollis has been working for the VW
Group for the past 26 years and was based
in Mladá Boleslav from 2007 to 2010. He is
supported by a growing team of international experts working directly at the company headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. The
main task of the team is to provide support
to the SAIC ŠKODA joint venture in line with
the Double the Business by 2020 strategy.
Ekim Cheng, Jordan Chan, Michael Tse, Jerry Lamba, and Chin Ka Lok – stars of the film
series Youth and Danger – were the faces of the YETI SUV campaign in 2016.
KODA entered the local market in 2007
when it launched the production of the
second-generation OCTAVIA in cooperation
with its Chinese partner, SAIC Volkswagen.
This partnership quickly made the carmaker a
part of the domestic market. With the current
range of seven locally manufactured models
(FABIA, RAPID, RAPID SPACEBACK, OCTAVIA,
YETI, SUPERB and KODIAQ), it now ranks
among the established automotive brands in
China. Huge sales success quickly followed,
and in 2010 China became the brand’s biggest
market while still offering immense potential
for growth. Last year, ŠKODA AUTO delivered
more than 300,000 vehicles to Chinese customers for the first time, which represents a
year-on-year rise of almost 13 percent.
DEDICATED SUV STRATEGY
It is therefore logical that the carmaker is
developing new models while taking local
trends and customer preferences into account. The new design language, which was
applied for the first time on the SUPERB
model, is helping the brand to strengthen its
emotional value. The extraordinary popularity of this vehicle segment among Chinese
drivers has led to the inception of a dedicated strategy that the brand is currently
launching in the Middle Kingdom. In the first
half of this year, the ŠKODA KODIAQ will be
presented to customers, and in the subsequent period, local motorists will be able to
choose from a range of four individual SUV
a memorandum of understanding. As part
of this arrangement, a five-year investment
plan worth 15 billion CNY has been confirmed
for model range expansion and technological
development. This will apply not only to the
SUV models but also to alternative drive vehicles. Thanks to these steps, ŠKODA China
should double the number of vehicles delivered to customers by 2020. RED
FIVE PRODUCTION SITES IN CHINA.
In the future, ŠKODA aims to strengthen its
position on the Chinese automotive market.
During the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Czech Republic last year, ŠKODA
AUTO, Volkswagen and SAIC ŠKODA signed
ŠKODA Day at the festival in Harbin
ŠKODA AUTO joins forces with the most popular winter festival in China
The event was dominated by a giant ice sculpture with the ŠKODA logo and motifs.
ŠKODA Day was held for the third time as
part of the Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. The presentation in Harbin, China was intended for the Chinese media and public. Along
with a fully functional model of the KODIAQ
SUV, the brand also presented a giant illuminated ice sculpture of vehicle motifs at the
venue. The show, organised by ŠKODA China
in cooperation with SAIC ŠKODA, has turned
into a regular event that gives an opportunity
to get acquainted with the brand and the traditions and culture of the Czech Republic. Upcoming ŠKODA Day events this year will take
place in Shanghai, Xi’an, Chengdu and Canton (Guangzhou). “The cooperation in China
between ŠKODA and SAIC Volkswagen represents a highly successful partnership”, says Andreas Hafemann, President of ŠKODA China.
“The brand is showing great results on the Chinese market. The number of delivered vehicles
in the biggest car market in the world increased
by 13 percent in 2016 to 317,100 units.” RED
▶▶ Which major milestones are planned for the
ŠKODA brand this year?
China is about to experience a major SUV
campaign in 2017. The KODIAQ will be
launched at the Shanghai Motor Show in
April, and the new generation of the YETI
will follow at the end of the year. In January,
SAIC ŠKODA completed a roadshow in China along with other events related to the
market launch of the KODIAQ to great public acclaim. I am also eagerly anticipating the
introduction of other models planned for
China this year.
▶▶ Are there any other plans for the expansion
of the model line-up in China?
The SUV campaign will not end in 2017 but
will continue into next year with products
developed directly for the Chinese market.
The KODIAQ COUPÉ and other SUV models
below the YETI are planned, and we are also
considering further options. The Chinese
market is not limited solely to SUVs: Models
in the OCTAVIA and RAPID ranges will also
receive a facelift.
▶▶ Can you estimate the sales numbers for
ŠKODA in China in 2017?
The estimates for the whole market are in
the region of 23.8 million vehicles. I am sure
the local market is in good condition. Last
year’s sales results reached an excellent figure of 317,100 vehicles thanks to the wonderful performance by the team in China.
But if I were to go back to the issue of this
year’s forecast, I would say that we will exceed 350,000 units. RED
THE TOTAL NUMBER OF VEHICLES THAT
ŠKODA AIMS TO DELIVER TO CHINESE
CUSTOMERS BETWEEN 2007 AND 2017