Dominant Czech car maker Skoda Auto plans to produce about 20,000 units of the new Karoq model this year and up to 100,000 units next year, a source from the company said at a presentation of the Karoq model today. The Karoq is Skoda’s new SUV whose production was launched at the end of July. Skoda has received over 3,000 pre-orders for Karoqs so far. Their official sale is to start on Oct 18. Skoda plans to sell 13,000 to 14,000 SUVs on the Czech market next year. Besides the Karoq, Skoda’s offer of SUVs comprises the Kodiaq model. Thanks to the offer of these models, the share of SUVs in total new car sales may rise from the current less than 25% to more than 30%. A further increase is expected with the arrival of Skoda’s new crossover in 2019. The Karoq is currently produced at Skoda’s plant in Kvasiny, eastern Bohemia. As of next year, it will also be produced at Mlada Boleslav, central Bohemia, where it will replace the Rapid model, while Rapid is moving to the line that assembles the Fabia and the Rapid Spaceback. Skoda Auto is also preparing its first electric car — it has presented the electric car concept under the name Vision E at car shows in Shanghai and Frankfurt this year, while its mass production is planned to be launched in the second half of 2020. A year earlier, it will be preceded by a hybrid model. By 2025, Skoda plans to have five electric or hybrid engine models. Five years later, it wants to have electric engines in each model range.
Skoda Auto, a part of German group Volkswagen, runs three plants in the Czech Republic, employing around 30,000 people. It also produces cars in China, Russia, Slovakia and India, mostly through partnerships, and in Ukraine and Kazakhstan in cooperation with local partners. Last year, Skoda Auto’s global sales reached 1,127,700 units, crossing the level of one million cars for the third time in a row. With regard to the media reports that Volkswagen considers moving part of Skoda production to Germany, Skoda management has assured PM Bohuslav Sobotka that it will do its best for keeping jobs in the Czech Republic and even indicated of a need to launch new capacities to meet strong demand for its cars.