Published on October 4th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
VW to reposition SEAT and Skoda to rival Mazda and Hyundai
The Volkswagen Group is going to go through a mild overhaul for 2020. VW Group marketing are looking to reposition their mass-produced car brands in order not to compete with one another. This new product reform will mainly affect the SEAT and Skoda brands and is targeted at 2020 sales.
The unification of the platforms and the standardization of the production has allowed the car companies under the VW Group to save money, but inevitably this has led to the similarity of the manufactured products. The Volkswagen Group, which owns a dozen car-branded passenger car brands (Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, CUPRA, Jetta (brand new in China), Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda, VW), clearly feels this particularly acute side effect and, from time to time, the top management have taken steps to eliminate internal competition.
Even during the times when the VW Group was under the leadership of the late Ferdinand Piëch , it was tried to make the SEAT brand more emotional, equal to the expression played by Alfa Romeo (the one car brand that Piëch dreamed of buying). The SEAT range of cars still does not differ too much from Skoda and VW in terms of design, while at the technical levels are almost 100% similar.
A year ago, SEAT introduced a new sports car sub-brand called CUPRA and its first “independent” models, Formentor and Tavascan which have been very encouraging in terms of design, but the problem with SEAT itself has remained unresolved. Its range of models, in fact, doubles those of Skoda, VW and partially Audi.
Michael Jost, responsible for VW Group for strategic development, said in an interview that the German car giant will try to distinguish its brands more clearly or more precisely, each occupying a unique and individual niche of the market. Thus, SEAT could become a more premium car brand and will thus attract the attention of buyers looking at Alfa Romeo and or Mazda models.
Much more interesting could be the situation with Skoda. VW management has decided to return its products to the budget segment in which it has remained within the first 10 years since it came under the wing of the VW Group, a period in which it gave the world popular little cars like the Skoda Felicia and the first generation Octavia.
Already with the introduction of the second generation Octavia, the Czech brand has grown sharply in value and has begun to conflict with VW and its products are now considered almost premium, where the latest Skoda models already cost too much. Expensive for ordinary consumers and this is why its sales in Malaysia is not possible at all as it sits side by side with VW vehicle pricing.
So, it could be decided that Skoda’s pricing policy will be significantly “softened” so that the Czech brand can successfully compete in Eastern Europe with Hyundai, KIA and even Dacia.
For this, in the future, Skoda will produce simpler cars, even simpler than base models from Volkswagen.