Skoda to launch affordable new EV models and combustion variants
25 March 2021 - Autocar
VW Group's most value-focused arm is plotting a sub-Enyaq affordable EV and new entry trims for existing models
Skoda will maintain its position as the Volkswagen Group's most value-focused brand as it continues its transition to electrification, ushering in affordable new models and trim levels.
The marque is already responsible for leading VW Group operations in developing automotive markets in India, Russia and North Africa, and it will strengthen its brand positioning in other regions by expanding its line-up at the affordable end of the spectrum.
CEO Thomas Schäfer outlined Skoda's priorities for the coming years: "We are focusing on three priorities. Firstly, we are expanding our model portfolio towards the entry-level segments.
"We are adding affordable, entry-level variants to each of our existing model series. These have been costed down to the last penny and will therefore appeal to a larger target group.
"At the same time, we are intentionally holding on to models like the Skoda Fabia Combi [estate], as they show Skoda is serious about affordable mobility."
The new Fabia will arrive in May but, unlike its Skoda range-mates, will not receive an electric or electrified variant, in line with its affordable billing. Toyota has taken a similar route with the exclusively petrol-powered next-gen version of its own cheapest model, the Aygo.
Following the Enyaq, Skoda will turn its attention to launching a smaller affordable EV using the MEB architecture. "This is a group topic at the moment, and if the group is working on it, we want to be a part of it. We are the brand that plays very strongly in this segment with ICE cars, but we also see our future there.
"We will fight for this and work with this group on this. Will it be built in the Czech Republic? That's not quite clear yet. The group has synergies around the globe, so we will have to balance this for now."
Schäfer would not be drawn on the model's exact size or shape, but a Skoda-badged version of the Volkswagen ID 3 is likely, followed by a Citigo-e iV successor in the affordable EV urban segment, based on the MEB-Lite platform being developed by Seat.
Talking about Skoda's second priority, Schäfer said: "We are exploring new markets for further growth in the volume segment. After India, we have now assumed responsibility for the regions of Russia and North Africa within the Volkswagen Group. We also see great potential in the Asia region.
"And thirdly, we are engaging with sustainability and diversity in every aspect of our work. We have set ourselves ambitious goals with our green future strategy. We have already achieved one goal: our Vrchlabí plant has become Skoda's first CO2-neutral production facility."