The future development of the ŠKODA brand
The carmaker’s product series is now divided into three departments, along with another that focuses on special projects
he product series, or Baureihen, has a new structure. There has been a change in the departments, and their management has changed, too. The re-organisation involves the G1 (SMALL), G2 (COMPACT) and G3 (MIDSIZE/MEB) product lines, as well as the newly created GL unit (Special projects – see the text “Strategic content”). Here is an overview of how the Baureihn are now divided and what they are working on.
G1: The challenge is the new FABIA
Jiří Dytrych took over G1 management on 1 June (previously, he had co-managed it with Lubomír Antoš). This department is in charge of the FABIA, SCALA and KAMIQ cars, as well as the electric CITIGOe IV. “Cars in this segment are closely tied to the traditional ŠKODA brand values and give the customer high utility value at a reasonable price. Staying competitive in this class is one of our key challenges. That is why we are also working hard on the new generation of the FABIA model. I am convinced that we will once again meet customer expectations with it”, Dytrych says regarding company targets.
The task of the Baureihe departments is to work across the carmaker with a maximum emphasis on ŠKODA products.
G2: How to upgrade an SUV
This department, led by its current manager, František Drábek, is in charge of managing and coordinating projects from the compact model line, such as the OCTAVIA and the KODIAQ. “We’re continuing to successfully introduce the fourth-generation OCTAVIA to markets around the world. Currently, we’re working intensively on the successor to our largest SUV, the KODIAQ. The project is at an early stage, and discussions are currently underway on exterior and interior design and further development. From a technical and financial point of view, we are carefully examining the options of alternative drives and new kinds of special equipment. In the autumn, we will start the new generation of the smaller KAROQ SUV”, says Drábek.
G3: SUPERB and electric cars
The biggest changes took place in two departments. The G4 product line was incorporated into the G3 unit (MIDSIZE/MEB) and, thus, ceased to exist as an independent entity. Axel Andorff has been the new manager since the beginning of July. He previously worked 20 years at Mercedes Benz and at SEAT as the Board Member for Technical Development. The new department is responsible for the SUPERB both in the standard and hybrid versions, as well as all models on the MEB electrical platform. „With the ambivalent portfolio within the department, the whole team is fully committed and engaged to further push our common PASSAT/SUPERB project and to step into the electric future with the great ENYAQ iV”, says Andorff.
The newly established GL – PL ŠKODA AUTO Special Projects unit is beyond the product line structure, as its main content are strategic topics. We are mainly talking about ensuring the further development of the ŠKODA and Volkswagen brands in India, increasing their market share and strengthening the export of cars produced in India to surrounding Asian countries. “The new GL department was created to preserve know-how from the current course of the INDIA 2.0 project and to ensure the continuity of its management. It includes preparing four completely new models – two ŠKODA brand and two Volkswagen cars – to be produced at the Pune plant. In addition, we have already started preparing the INDIA 3.0 project and will use our experience at new plants in China and Russia”, according to Lubomír Antoš. Štěpán Vorlíček
Head of G1 – Product Line SMALL
A crisis can make smaller cars very important. ŠKODA has traditionally offered something extra: interior space, a simply clever solution and a favourable price-performance ratio. During the 2008–2010 economic crisis, I was working in Sales and understood how crucial the FABIA and RAPID were to our key markets. That’s why we are now working together with Marketing and Sales to get out of this difficult time with our heads up.
Head of G2 – Product Line COMPACT
In addition to working on the new generation of the KODIAQ model, our focus is on the latest OCTAVIA. It became the brand’s first model equipped with a new infotainment generation and, at the same time, the second PHEV-powered car. Preparation of future projects didn’t stop during the production shutdown, and our employees worked from home. Thus, we’ve unexpectedly shown ourselves to be ready for the current digital communication trend.
Head of G3 – Product Line MIDSIZE/MEB
Clean electric cars are crucial for the brand’s future. ENYAQ iV confirms that we can also handle this type of drive. We have to find the necessary balance on which to build further ŠKODA brand growth. I also expect new requirements from customers, which will certainly result in innovative simply clever features and improvements, in both hardware and digital, as well as completely new business opportunities.
Head of GL – PL ŠKODA AUTO Special Projects
Unfortunately, the INDIA 2.0 project was significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The closure of the Pune plant originally looked like it would become a shutdown for more than three months. Thanks to the huge initiative of the Purchasing, Brand Logistics, Planning and Quality departments, we’ve reduced the delay to seven weeks. New communication technologies have also helped us a lot.