Czech car maker Škoda Auto has finally unveiled the long-awaited SUV, Škoda Kodiaq. The company’s first full-sized SUV was officially shown off to auto experts and the public at the prestigious Berlin auto show.
The car, which was named after the Alaskan bear, is seen as one the most important vehicles for the future of the brand. The Czech Republic’s biggest car maker says that the price of the model should be extremely competitive compared with rival models already on the market. The three-row SUV is expected to do well not only in Europe but also on the Chinese market. And Kodiaq could also become the first Škoda to be sold in the US.
The Czech car-maker, which hasn't sold a car in the US since the late 1950s, has recently filed for trademark applications in the US and its CEO has hinted that he'd like to sell cars there. Škoda Kodiaq, the larger brother of the Škoda Yeti, named after the legendary Himalayan creature, is sharing the construction platform for the car with the Volkswagen Tiguan and SEAT Ateca and sports a 4.7-metre long body to accommodate a seven-seat layout. It is set to enter the market early next year with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines.
The first Kodiaq is expected to roll off the production line in Kvasiny in October and it could reach its first customers in the Czech Republic in February next year. A month later it is expect to hit the European market. Production of the new SUV model in China is expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2017.
While prices haven’t been announced yet, experts say they could start somewhere around 650,000 crowns.
So far, Škoda’s most popular model is the third-generation Octavia, which made its debut in 1996. Over the following two decades, the Škoda Octavia became a worldwide hit and remains to be the brand’s best-selling series.
The model has been instrumental in the successful development of the Škoda brand. In the 20 years since its debut, five million customers around the world have purchased one of the various models in the Octavia family.
Last year, Škoda reported record profits of 665 million euro (18.4 billion crowns), a 46 percent increase compared to the previous year, largely driven by its best-selling model. In 2014 Škoda Auto delivered over 1 million vehicles to clients worldwide, a year-on-year increase of almost 13 percent.
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