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Skoda to push past 8000 annual sales with Karoq

Karoq-ing out: Skoda Australia’s supply of the Karoq will be limited to 700 examples in 2018, while its 2019 allocation is still being finalised.

Karoq puts Skoda Australia on pace for third successive annual sales record

Skoda logo25 Jun 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

SKODA Australia is this year on pace for its third successive annual sales record, partly thanks to the introduction of its critical Karoq small-size SUV that faces initial supply restraints.
 
Speaking to GoAuto this week at the Karoq national media launch in New South Wales, Skoda Australia general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger revealed that while this year’s supply of the segment-straddling high-rider is better than expected, it is still limited to just 700 units.
 
“We grabbed all the ones we could get. Initially we didn’t think we’d get as many as (700) – it’s the worldwide thing,” he said.
 
“Yes, (it’s) compounded by recent (WLTP emission regulations) issues, but also the fact that Skoda is doing brilliantly globally – and we’re a microcosm of that.”
 
When questioned what the sales projection would be for the Karoq if supply was not an issue, Mr Pottinger revealed that expectations are high for Skoda Australia’s entire model line-up, despite supply issues from last year continuing to affect the Kodiaq large SUV and Fabia light hatch.
 
“Skoda’s going to this year surpass 6000 (sales in Australia) for the first time – that’s a 20 per cent increase over last year. It’s remarkable,” he said.
 
“Skoda can very comfortably – particularly with everything online – be an (8000 units)-a-year brand here … if we’ve got everything we want at the moment.
 
“You’ve got to remember it’s got to where it has at the moment on the back of unfashionable cars like wagons and big sedans, so it’s completely bucked the trend.”
 
To the end of May this year, Skoda Australia has sold 2162 vehicles – a 13.1 per cent increase over the 1911 registrations during the same period in 2017 – with the Octavia mid-size car leading the charge with 770 sales (up 4.6 per cent).
 
The Rapid small hatch (141 units, up 0.7 per cent) is the company’s only other model to record growth in 2018, while the Superb large car (379 units, down 1.8 per cent) and Fabia (260 units, down 48.2 per cent) have both taken a hit.
 
Nonetheless, while the Yeti small SUV and Octavia Scout mid-size SUV have finally departed the line-up after recording no sales this year, the Kodiaq in its first full year of availability, has added almost quadruple the volume lost from the pair, at 580 units.
 
Mr Pottinger explained that the introduction of less-quirky SUV models, such as Kodiaq and Karoq 12 months apart, is key to Skoda Australia’s anticipated growth, which would follow its 2016 and 2017 annual sales records of 5350 and 4760 units respectively.
 
“SUVs are going to broaden it out. This is (Skoda’s) second mainstream SUV. Obviously, it is Kodiaq junior, but this is an even bigger segment. And there is no reason not to buy this and every reason to buy it,” he said.
 
Mr Pottinger added that the Karoq – launched with a single 110TSI turbo-petrol variant – will not be solely responsible for the extra 3000 sales Skoda Australia needs to eventually push its annual volume past 8000 units.
 
“As the SUV mix increases – remember this is only the first variant of Karoq, there’ll be another next year, and the year after that there’ll be a smaller-class SUV – (so will sales),” he said.
 
As previously reported, the aforementioned small SUV will likely be based on the Vision X concept outed at the Geneva motor show in March this year, while the Karoq’s second variant will feature 140kW of power and all-wheel drive.
 
When questioned if to would be reasonable to expect the Karoq to soon surpass the Octavia and become Skoda Australia’s best-selling model, Mr Pottinger said: “I think so. It’s in the growth segment.
 
“This is the thing – (parent company Volkswagen Group Australia) as a whole, they just haven’t had enough SUVs. And the success that we’ve enjoyed as a group in the last three or four years has been built on passenger vehicles.”

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