Skoda SUV to launch in 2009
Media reports have said Skoda will debut the model at the London show next month.
“Nonsense. This is the year of the Superb,” said Skoda spokesman Jaroslav Cerny, referring to the automaker's launch this summer of its new flagship car.
He said Skoda will launch the SUV next year, but would not specify a time.
Skoda executives have said that preparations for making the SUV are well underway. This would put the car in a position for an early 2009 launch at the Geneva auto show.
The car will likely be called the Yeti, the name of both concept cars earlier shown by the Czech automaker. "I think we will stay with the name," Skoda head Reinhard Jung told Automotive News Europe in March.
Eckhard Scholz, Skoda board member in charge of technical development, said in March the car will come in four-wheel drive and front-wheel drive-only variants: "I expect most customers will have the four-wheel drive variant."
The SUV will be built at Skoda's Kvasiny site alongside the large Superb and the Roomster medium minivan. The two Kvasiny assembly lines have a total production capacity of 200,000 units.
Skoda will target central Europe with its Yeti and is expected to sell around 50,000 units annually. "It will be positioned to fill the gap of both SUV and MPV (minivan) that are not part of the Skoda product line-up," said Walt Madeira, manager of European vehicle sales forecasts at the UK office of CSM Worldwide. "Skoda must try to get a piece of the pie as SUV sales are very lucrative."
You may e-mail Lyle Frink at email@example.com