Report: VW’s Skoda Brand Considering U.S. Sales
Some Suggest Czech Value Brand Should Replace VW in U.S.
Launching a new automotive brand, especially in a market as vast and competitive as the U.S., is no small undertaking. Just look at the last few decades littered with departed or stillborn brands in the U.S. such as Mahindra, Peugeot, Renault, and Aro. For baby boomers, the Volkswagen brand may evoke memories of beachside parties, cannabis-fogged rock concerts, or high school hijinks, but for the past year, the name has been sullied by corporate cover-up scandals and malfeasance related to cheating on emissions tests with its TDI turbodiesel engines. Without question, the scandal has damaged the Volkswagen brand. However, the question as to what extent remains an open one. To help bolster the VW Group’s prospects in the U.S., Automotive News reports the company’s Czech value brand, Skoda, is reportedly eyeing expansion into the U.S.
One German auto industry auto analyst quoted in the story even suggested that Skoda replace the Volkswagen brand in the U.S. to give the company a fresh start with consumers. Before it was acquired by the Volkswagen Group in 2000, Skoda was synonymous with subpar, communist-era vehicles. However, after the VW acquisition, the brand rapidly grew in popularity throughout the rest of Europe as customers realized the newer vehicles were virtually the same as higher-priced Volkswagen-branded models. Skoda is readying a three-row SUV named the Kodiaq for launch next year, based on the next-generation Volkswagen Tiguan. Analysts have suggested a strong SUV offering is critical for a brand considering U.S. sales.
Source: Automotive News