Hyundai Battles Skoda For Czech Republic

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
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hyundai battles skoda for czech republic

While Skoda has long been the Cinderella story of the Czech Republic, Skoda could soon find itself deposed as sovereign of their domestic auto market.

In an effort to boost their market share in the Czech Republic to 15 percent by the end of the decade, Hyundai has pursued a “going-native” strategy. The strategy ranges from sponsoring the national soccer team and promoting its factory (where 72 percent of Hyundai’s models sold in the country are assembled, employing 3,500 to build 300,000 units annually), to dealers displaying Skoda’s new Octavia in their showrooms alongside Hyundai’s i30 and i40 models so consumers can comparison-shop right then and there.

The result? Hyundai holds 9.6 percent of the Czech market, up from 3.6 percent ten years prior. Skoda, on the other hand, fell from 48 percent to 30 percent in the same period. However, the original home team has pushed back hard with their own war plan, sponsoring the national hockey team, launching eight new models for the 2014 model year, and relying upon tradition to keep one-third of their homeland’s market.

Like Hyundai, Skoda has a goal of increasing their European sales to 5 percent of the market by the end of the decade; Hyundai currently has 3.5 percent, Skoda holds 4.1 percent.

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  • Th009 Th009 on Jan 02, 2014

    Before the iron curtain fell, Škoda probably had 80% of the market in what was then Czechoslovakia. Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004, opening up its borders and markets, so it was fully expected that Škoda would not be able to maintain a 50% share. Given the 30% to 10% edge in market share, and Hyundai's goal to increase to 15% in six years, it's not quite a battle for the crown quite yet.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jan 02, 2014

    I watched Chris Goffey's review of the old Skoda Favorit estate on old Top Gear. It seemed thoroughly basic and tractor-like. Of course this was the early 90s, and I don't think it was under the big VW umbrella til after that. I've always liked their emblem though. Seems very Scandinavian to me.

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    • Vipul Singh Vipul Singh on Jan 02, 2014

      I remeber Clarkson's review of the Favorit and he liked it too. His only issue was that the fuel gauge read full while going around a right handed bend and empty while going around a left handed bend.

  • Ron B. Ron B. on Jan 02, 2014

    I am amazed that Skoda is taken seriously as a car. I was running a garage in the 1970's and we often had skodas of various ages in for repair. Mostly due to the fact that although the basic design was both clever and advanced,the actual quality was shit. I lost count of the number of headgaskets we had to replace in the wet liner engines . It got to the point where only a serious eccentric would even consider owning a Skoda,the joke car of the 70's. And yet today I see soccer mums proudly cruising around in their new Fovorit or Octavia. Time heals all wounds i guess.

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    • Zeus01 Zeus01 on Jan 02, 2014

      @th009 The iron curtain fell in 1989 but yeah, the Skoda was an interesting car and for many of the wrong reasons. I had a neighbour who was restoring one around 1995 or thereabouts. The car was only five or six years old at the time(!), yet he still figured it was worth the effort to re-do the rusty body, re-build the crappy engine and replace the "over-engineered" (huh?) brakes. Yet there WERE worse cars from that part of the globe: Lada and Yugo come to mind.

  • Ect Ect on Jan 02, 2014

    "Skoda could soon find itself deposed as sovereign of their domestic auto market." Huh? Skoda holds >30% of the market, Hyundai is below 10%. That's not a contest for market leadership. Not even close.