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Skoda to cut Fabia pricing
Czech brand Skoda poised to cut Fabia starting price to $15,990 plus on-roads
19 Mar 2014
SKODA Australia will soon cut the starting price of its Fabia $15,990 plus on-road costs in a bid to help sales before the range-opening hatch is replaced by an all-new model in 2015.
The imminent re-positioning, confirmed to GoAuto by Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer this week, will give the Czech-based brand more ammunition at the lower end of the light-car segment against European and Asian rivals.
The Fabia price reduction will mark a saving of $3000 over the Czech-built runabout’s current $18,990 opening gambit for the base 77TSI with a manual gearbox.
Further up the range, the price of the mid-spec Monte Carlo with a manual gearbox drops by $2400 from $21,990 to $19,590, while the range-topping RS hot-hatch gets an $800 cut to $27,190.
Adding a dual-clutch DSG transmission to any of the aforementioned variants boosts the price by $2300.
The realignment also marks a continuation of the company’s move to reduce its local pricing – more in line with the way it is positioned in Europe – which it started with the new and more affordable Octavia launched in regular guise last October and in racy RS from this month.
“We are going out with a re-aligned range of the Fabia model now,” he said.
“Even though it is towards the end of its life-cycle we will have a realigned the range and we will start bringing out cars to the dealers in the next couple of weeks and we will be starting the price point from $15,990 for Fabia.”
Mr Irmer said the Fabia would be offered in base-variant guise with an even sharper drive-away price of $16,990, which will continue until the model is replaced.
This pricing makes Fabia more competitive with the Mazda2 (from $15,790), Ford Fiesta ($15,825), Fiat Punto ($15,900) and Suzuki Swift ($15,990). It also undercuts European offerings such as the Renault Clio ($16,790), Peugeot 208 ($18,490) and the Volkswagen Polo ($16,990).
Mr Irmer said the entire Fabia range would be re-aligned, but he did not confirm pricing or specifications for any other variants or whether certain variants would be dropped or re-positioned, adding that further information would be released in coming weeks.
The $1000 more expensive load-lugging wagon version of the Fabia will also benefit from the price re-alignment. A wagon is available on the 77TSI and RS variants but not with the Monte Carlo.
Mr Irmer said the Fabia wagon would fill a space in Skoda’s local line-up left by the odd-ball Roomster tall-boy hatch that was discontinued last month after lower-than-expected sales.
“For $15,990 you will have a hatch, but for $16,990 you will have the same car as a wagon. So you have another low-cost, roomy car option,” he said.
“Another way to look at it is we had the (recently-discontinued) Roomster before, which was an inexpensive way to have a fairly roomy car. And the Fabia wagon can partially step into that.”
Mr Irmer said the reductions were more significant for the entry-level variants as that is where most buyers look.
“The most price-sensitive end of the market are the entry versions and this is where we have to be working the hardest to meet the market there,” he said.
In 2013, Skoda sold 555 Fabias, marking a 23 per cent drop over the previous year’s haul of 722 units. For the first two months of 2014, sales have slid even further with just 65 Fabias finding homes compared to 109 in January and February last year.
Skoda’s plan to increase brand awareness and sales got a boost late last year when it launched the third-generation Octavia mid-sizer with an aggressive starting price of $21,690 plus on-road costs, undercutting all of its main competitors in the segment.
It is unclear if the company will re-evaluate pricing of its other core models such as the Yeti compact-SUV and the Superb large sedan and wagon range that are both due to be facelifted this year.
The Fabia was launched in Australia in 2011, about three years after its European sales debut. A new generation is due within 12 months – potentially as early as this Paris motor show in September – pointing to an Australian berth in mid-to-late 2015.
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