By on August 2, 2016

Skoda Octavia (TuRbO_J/Flickr)

North American motorists with a hunger for foreign badges will have to wait a little longer for a yes/no answer from Škoda.

The Czech subsidiary of Volkswagen Group will make up its mind on a possible entry into the North American market by next year, CEO Bernhard Maier said to German newspaper Handelsblatt (via Wards Auto).

Škoda, which just recorded its best first-half sales numbers in its history, spent the last few months dropping hints of a foray across the Atlantic. Maier was recently quoted as saying the company’s upcoming three-row Kodiaq SUV would be a “home run” in the U.S. marketplace. U.S. trademark filings for Škoda model names and associated badging began in May.

It sure looked like the automaker was preparing all the necessary groundwork for a U.S. entry. Now, Maier has said when we can expect to see Škoda signage added to Volkswagen dealerships (or not).

“During the next year, we want to have the question of North America decided for us,” Maier told Handelsblatt. “When we talk about our plans until 2025, then you cannot leave out one of the most important car markets in the world. Therefore, we examine under what conditions and with what cars the entrance to the U.S. market would be possible.”

Volkswagen plans to recapture U.S. car buyers’ hearts with a healthy lineup of crossovers and SUVs. The company’s small-car “clean diesel” push is over, and won’t reappear once the emissions scandal ends, its American CEO said recently. The strategy shift could leave an opening for some Škoda models.

For now, Europhiles will have to wait patiently.

[Image: TuRbO_J/Flickr]

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40 Comments on “Americans Will Find Out Next Year if Skoda is Coming: CEO...”


  • avatar
    Kenmore

    We don’t have enough sick brands, welcome Skoda!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    *Eye roll*

    Tell me, how have Ford-Mercury, Dodge-Eagle-Plymouth-Renault-AMC, and Chevrolet-Pontiac-Olds-Hummer-Saab worked out?

    And all those companies had better reputations and a larger dealer network on their side. Give it up with this trolling, Skoda manager. Competing with ones self is a pre-recession past time. Your boss at Wolfsburg is gonna slap down the idea when you bring it to him anyway.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, why not?

    It’s a VW with a different name…and if there’s any make that needs a new name, it’s VW.

    If there’s anyone who is nutty enough to think this’ll work, it’s VW. Maybe they should go to South Korea and ask the Kia folks how long it took for them to grab a foothold in this market.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    How is it possible that VW leadership is this clueless? We are talking about one of the Top 3 automakers in the world, and probably one of the Top 20 companies in the world. Simply astonishing that they could imagine that bringing Skoda to the US would be anything but a debacle.

  • avatar
    Joe Btfsplk

    What does Skoda make that Volkswagen-Audi does not make available already at U.S. franchises?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    So, they really are that dumb.

    Note to VW: Here’s an idea – save the money from deploying Skoda in the US, and spend it on satisfying your TDI customers even more, or on improving your current products’ reputation, or on ‘buying’ new customers with competitive future products.

  • avatar
    Demon_Something

    Honestly, this has a slightly bigger chance of working than the B&B assumes. They at least have two price competitive crossovers, which is more than VW can say. Besides, think of how many people don’t realize Volkswagen owns Audi.

    I’m hopeful only because I hear they’re more reliable than they’re VW counterparts. I kind of want to see if it’s true or not.

  • avatar
    JMII

    If Fiat can launch with just ONE car then why not Skoda? They could be the entry level VW which would allow VW to move further up market by eliminating their cheaper offerings (Jetta / Beetle). Honestly I don’t think its a good idea but we’ve seen worst ideas pushed out.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    America longs for Skoda and Seat.
    Bring them on!

    (and just think about what a gravy deal the states will offer when you dangle a proposed US headquarters and assembly plant in front of them)

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It would be interesting, but I don’t think it makes economic sense. The passenger car market is shrinking – what SUVs/CUVs would they bring?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Kodiaq? Stupid name.

  • avatar

    How damaged is the VW brand in the States that corporate HQ is considering giving us more or less the same cars, but with a badge 99.5% of all American consumers have ever heard of, in the hopes of recapturing sales?

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      That’s so crazy, it just might work. The VW brand isn’t as spoiled out in the real world as it is on this hyper-judgemental, blame-castin’, group-thinkin’ website, but it’s certainly at a low point. A fresh nameplate at a Kia pricepoint might be appealing right now. Makes more sense than their decade-long project to turn VWs into Audis.

  • avatar
    skotastic

    I should add that making the case for Skoda wouldn’t be hard.

    The company is one of the oldest car companies in the world, and their rally efforts have made them very cool cars.

    A Fabia, Yeti, and Kodiaq would be a great lineup to compete with MINI and FIAT for the something different market.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    I’m tellin’ ya, they need to take over Chrysler and Dodge showrooms and sell them, either badged as Skoda or as Chrysler brands. Really truly, can they do any worse than the Dart and 200?!?

    I keep thinking that if I ever bought a Yeti (which looks like an old CRV), it would have to be painted white, because isn’t the mythical yeti a big white “abominable snowman”?

  • avatar
    john66ny

    Cruising the Skoda UK site, I do see manual brown diesel wagons. Is that not reason enough?

  • avatar
    bd2

    Skoda has really turned things around in Europe – where they are probably getting more positive press/reviews than the offerings from VW.

    But with the already dumbed-down Jetta and Passat for the US market – does bringing Skoda to the States really make sense?

  • avatar
    NN

    I just wrapped up a week of driving a rental stick shift Skoda Rapid wagon for a week in Ireland. Heavily polluting diesel, of course. I really liked it. However I don’t see many Americans willing to throw their money at a Czech automotive brand with no US history.

  • avatar
    SARCASTIMODE

    Well, VW stacked ~$18 bil on a bridge, and lit it all on fire. Maybe Skoda will be the “new” VW that sells non-hybrid cars?

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