Skoda Teases America, Again: CEO Says the Kodiaq Would Be a 'Home Run' in the U.S.

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
skoda teases america again ceo says the kodiaq would be a 8216 home run in the

The hints keep piling up that the Škoda brand could one day arrive on our shores.

Volkswagen Group’s Czech subsidiary keeps dropping clues that it wants to enter the U.S. market, but the surging automaker’s CEO recently added his own voice to the rumor mill, according to Autocar. Company head Bernhard Maier said if the automaker does head to America, it already has the vehicle U.S. buyers want.

Speaking to Autocar at the launch of its Alaska-inspired Kodiaq SUV, Maier said the American market isn’t first on Škoda’s expansion list. South Korea, Singapore and Iran come first. Still, his comments reveal a clear interest in going after the U.S. buyer.

“If we do decide to compete in the US, we will have one chance to make a good first impression,” said Maier. “We feel that if we were there now, the Kodiaq would be a home-run car.”

While those three smaller Asian markets make sense for Škoda, the company can’t keep its eye off a much bigger prize.

“America is the one that we don’t currently compete in with the biggest potential,” said Maier.

The automaker is already conducting a feasibility study to see if the brand could make it in the U.S. (TTAC has its own thoughts on that.) Lately, the automaker has laid some groundwork — at the patent office, anyways. Over the last few months, Škoda filed trademark applications for several of its model names, the VRS performance badge, and “Skoda H-Tec.”

Despite the black clouds hovering over Volkswagen Group, Škoda is a bright light. The brand saw a record 569,400 deliveries in the first half of 2016, and is eager to grow its global footprint.

[Image: Bruno Kussler Marques/ Flickr]

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jul 29, 2016

    Skoda would be no home run in the US. After all the expense and trouble to set up shop in the US, they might sell 2000-3000 cars/month, which is Fiat/Jaguar territory, but with small margins. What's going to make me buy a Skoda instead of a Kia? Warranty - no, Price - unlikely, Support - no, Performance - no, Utility - no.

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    • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Jul 29, 2016

      @Corey Lewis So, the Internet doesn't exist so we must assume that because it is from Czechoslovakia, its garbage. And who would buy this over a Kia? Who would buy a Kia over a Chevy or Plymouth in 1994 when they came here? Not too many at first, but mentioning Kia (by the op of this thread) is a bit ironic since in the whole US market, its probably the youngest (full-line) brand sold here, yet is pretty well known. (I'm not counting Fiat or Mini as for one they don't have full lineups, and in Fiat's case especially, they were here before so not exactly unknown.) Tesla is another example. In a few years, they went from being the producer of an obscure little electric roadster to a household name with (supposedly) 300,000 eager buyers waiting on their next model. It takes time, but people do eventually catch on. So, yes, I do believe a new nameplate has the potential for success. I also believe we shouldn't judge car quality we haven't experienced yet. Call me crazy, but clearly the market will embrace a new name (even one from non-first world nation) and will give a carmaker a chance to prove themselves. You needn't think of those with different opinions than yours as necessarily wrong and therefore deserving of your condescending tone. You didn't bother to research Skoda or its reputation, yet you make fun of others who didn't either, but just didn't assume its as horrible as you do. Pot, meet kettle.

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Jul 29, 2016

    Soon, Americans are going to be afforded an opportunity to purchase loathsome vehicles with all the problems of VW platforms and all the problems of sub-par assembly. I can hardly wait.

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    • Adam Tonge Adam Tonge on Jul 30, 2016

      @scott25 The Audi Q3 is also built in Spain.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jul 31, 2016

    Skoda was always VW's last generation brand. When the tooling is changed because the car changes, the tooling goes East. Skoda makes it, so VW can get away with making two generations of car at at time. Since the US market is a rich hard currency location, they'd rather sell us Audi and some VW. German car makers have never done well mid or low end in the US. Keep in mind that the cars we get are the top line, or close to it. Germans build a lot of low end cars we don't get, or miss.... I can't see VW launching a new brand...or figuring out the US market...ever... Do we want the last generation VW ? It makes sense in markets that have little money but the US market isn't that one.

    • Derekson Derekson on Jul 31, 2016

      This is not true at all. Skodas use the same generation platforms and engines as VWs, Seats, and the smaller Audis. I believe they may have done this once in the past, probably shortly after buying Skoda, but at this point the cars are just as modern as any other VWAG product.

  • KM From AU KM From AU on Aug 01, 2016

    So I am currently resisting the urge to buy a new Skoda Octavia down here. On price it adds up at less than the equivalent Golf with more niceties and slightly cheaper servicing. Given my 33,000km a year driving, I am craving to go to a Diesel to get a cost saving! (it'd equate to 33 tanks of fuel a year rather than 50 in my 2013 Mazda 3)