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Skoda says sub-Yeti SUV still years away

Large task: Skoda’s next SUV offering will be the Kodiaq seven-seater that will compete with the likes of the Toyota Kluger.

Next Yeti and Kodiaq seven-seater to cover all Skoda’s SUV bases for now

28 Jun 2016

SKODA has no plans to release a sub-Yeti SUV in the near future despite sister brand Volkswagen preparing a Polo-based crossover to be positioned below the one-size-larger second-generation Tiguan within the next two years.

Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the updated Octavia last week, Skoda Australia director Michael Irmer revealed that while the Czech brand is investigating how to compete against the likes of the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V after the larger next-generation Yeti arrives in two years, there is nothing in the pipeline beyond that and the upcoming Toyota Kluger-sized seven-seater Kodiaq.

“No final product decision has been made on that,” he said. “But the factory is currently evaluating different options in that category below (Yeti). But obviously we have a bit more time on our hands, so there is nothing pressing.

“When you look at it, in that size category where the future model Yeti will be sitting, and where the Kodiaq will be sitting, the two models will cover a very large percentage of SUV sales in Australia. So in the scope of things, these two models are far more important for us than anything outside of that.”

Mr Irmer added that even though it will be larger than before, the second-generation Yeti will still be compact enough to straddle both the small and medium SUV classes in Australia. This, in turn, should give the Skoda advantages in terms of refinement and technology.

“(The next Yeti) is going to grow slightly in size, he admitted. “In length it will be sized like a small SUV. Though it is based on the Tiguan platform, customers will look at it and compare it to a CX-3, Mitsubishi ASX, and HR-V.

But in reality, they are based on light-car platforms like the Mazda2 and so on, but the Yeti actually is not. It is more of a grown-up car, like today’s car, which is based on a larger platform.

“Now we have a scalable architectures which gives you way more flexibility in terms of different wheelbases and other measures that vary, to accommodate a far wider range of vehicles, body styles, length sizes and so on, so you can also more freely mix up different components around this axis of components.”

The Kodiaq will debut at the Paris motor show in October, ahead of an Australian release later next year, while the next-gen Yeti will debut not longer after that, for a 2018 local launch.

To the end of May, sales of the existing five-year-old Yeti have tumbled nearly 47 per cent, to just 240 units, compared to the same period last year.

In contrast, the Mazda shifted 7582 CX-3s to lead the sub-$40,000 small-SUV class, one thousand registrations ahead of the Mitsubishi ASX at 6593 sales, with the Nissan Qashqai and HR-V fighting for third spot with 5077 and 5048 buyers respectively.

As reported back in March, Volkswagen’s sub-Tiguan combatant in this growing segment will be based on the next-generation Polo due before the end of this year, and will share its MQB-0 architecture and components with the dimensionally similar Audi Q2 premium SUV also launched at this year’s Geneva show.

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