Published on March 30th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Skoda Strengthens Presence in China
ŠKODA will be strengthening their presence on the Chinese automobile market in cooperation with its longstanding Chinese joint venture partner SAIC VOLKSWAGEN Automotive Company Limited. This will involve expanding the model range and investing in pioneering automotive technologies. On the occasion of a state visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Czech Republic on 29 and 30 March 2016, a memorandum was signed among VOLKSWAGEN, SAIC MOTOR CORPORATION LIMITED and ŠKODA AUTO in the presence of the Chinese and Czech President.
Under the agreement, Joint Venture SAIC VOLKSWAGEN Automotive Company Limited plans to invest around EUR 2 billion over the next five years in the development of ŠKODA’s model range in China. This amount also includes expenditures for pioneering electric drive concepts, the connectivity of ŠKODA cars to the Internet and the digitization of individual mobility. In addition, the companies VOLKSWAGEN, SAIC MOTOR CORPORATION LIMITED and ŠKODA AUTO also determined that, subject to approval by the Chinese authorities, ŠKODA would assume an equity position in Joint Venture SAIC VOLKSWAGEN Automotive Company Limited.
ŠKODA is currently preparing a comprehensive SUV campaign for the Chinese market with the Joint Venture partner. In relation to this, the ŠKODA VisionS design study will be presented to the Chinese public for the first time at the end of April at the automotive show in Beijing. The VisionS provides a glimpse of the new large SUV ŠKODA model whose launch in China is planned for the first half 2017. As part of the SUV campaign, another body variant of ŠKODA’s large SUV is already in development. In addition, the brand intends to bring out a crossover utility vehicle (CUV) for China.
Chinese customers’ interest in modern SUVs has been demonstrated through the sales of the ŠKODA Yeti, which is produced at the Anting plant with a six-centimetre longer wheelbase compared to the European version, increasing more than 300% in the first two months of 2016 compared to the same period last year.