Skoda Australia has quietly been delivering constantly polished merchandise since its relaunch in 2007, however even with robust value-for-money credentials and the may of Volkswagen Group behind it, the model hasn’t fairly damaged into the mainstream consciousness.
However that might all change this 12 months.
With model recognition at an all-time excessive and recent product to hold it by means of 2021 (together with a full SUV entourage), Skoda Australia may promote sufficient automobiles this 12 months to propel it nicely in to the highest 20 to overhaul the likes of Renault, Volvo and even Lexus.
Final 12 months, Skoda Australia’s gross sales hit 6607 models, a slight 5.6 per cent lower over the 7001 gross sales it managed in 2019, however the model nonetheless managed a smaller drop than the business’s 13.7 per cent common attributable to COVID-19 issues.
The tide is already delivering 2021, with January gross sales setting a brand new excessive watermark for the Czech model, notching 901 new registrations (+66.9% in contrast with the identical month final 12 months).
This imply Skoda outsold Volvo, Renault, Porsche, Lexus, Land Rover and Jeep final month.
Certain, a few of these registrations had been as a result of launch of the all-new Scala small automobile in January, which hit the market with engaging drive-away promotional pricing, however the Speedy-replacing mannequin isn’t the one exercise for the model this 12 months.
Skoda is seeking to strike whereas the iron is scorching in early 2021 with the next-generation Octavia, one of many solely opponents left standing within the shrinking mid-size passenger automobile phase.
In actual fact, the Octavia is the second most-popular mannequin in its class, behind solely the Toyota Camry, and already eclipses the likes of the ageing Mazda6, Hyundai Sonata and Honda Accord in gross sales.
With the likes of the Ford Mondeo, Kia Optima and Subaru Liberty now discontinued, there may be a good greater alternative for the Octavia to develop its share of the pie.
2021 may even be the primary full 12 months the brand new Kamiq small SUV is on sale, which launched late in 2020 to vital acclaim.
The 110TSI Monte Carlo flagship has simply touched down in showrooms too, giving patrons extra selection within the top-end of vary.
And if these three fashions aren’t for you, Skoda nonetheless presents the Karoq mid-size SUV (which is now underpinned by torque converter automated transmission as a substitute of a dual-clutch unit), the Excellent giant sedan and wagon, the Kodiaq giant SUV, and the Fabia hatch for the funds aware purchaser.
To assist bolster its road cred, and shed the cheap-and-cheerful picture it was recognized for prior to now, Skoda even has a duo of performance-oriented RS fashions within the type of the Octavia and Kodiaq.
Including extra spice to the portfolio, the incoming Octavia RS will probably be accessible in sedan and wagon kinds, underpinned by a 180kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission – the identical set-up discovered within the intently associated Volkswagen Golf GTI.
The Kodiaq RS in the meantime, is propelled by a 176kW/500Nm turbo-diesel engine, however will change to a petroleum engine in facelifted kind as diesel continues to fall out of favour with patrons.
And all of that is backed by a five-year/limitless kilometre guarantee, capped-price servicing, and a singular service and upkeep subscription plan.
The latter bundle permits homeowners to pay a month-to-month payment relying on most journey distance every year (as much as 40,000km) that covers scheduled servicing and upkeep repairs objects equivalent to tyres, wiper blades, battery substitute and brakes.
It could be onerous for Skoda to interrupt into the highest 10 manufacturers in Australia and not using a one-tonne ute to tackle the Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton and Ford Ranger, however the remainder of its product line-up is broad, sturdy and well-priced sufficient to concern the likes of Suzuki and Renault.