Skoda has delayed launching the replacement model of the upper-medium Octavia from late this year until early 2004, industry sources said.
"Unofficially, it is February," said one supplier, although production will begin late this year.
The move extends the life span of the current model somewhat for Skoda and for Octavia suppliers. Skoda produced 163,198 Octavia models last year, selling 88 percent of them outside the Czech Republic.
The delay was caused by parent Volkswagen group's decision to launch the next-generation VW Golf, which shares many components with the Octavia, at September's Frankfurt auto show, suppliers said. The delay ensures the new Octavia will not detract from the Golf launch.
Skoda declined to comment.
The Octavia will fit into the middle of Skoda's lineup between the supermini Fabia and full-size Superb.