Date:09-14 13:22 Source：autochina.comnews.cn Authour：He Lun
Now we are busy making preparations for the launch of the KODIAQ in China in the middle of next year. Through these campaigns, we are trying to deliver a clear message: this is a young and refreshing SUV model that has inherited all elements of Skoda and applied innovative technologies to keep users online 24/7 and meet all of their travel demands, which is quite rare in the Chinese market. What is more, the KODIAQ is only the beginning of our extensive SUV campaign, especially in the Chinese market. Besides this soon-to-be-launched model, we will also roll out the new-generation Yeti and more crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) in the future. All of these show that we are now focusing on this market segment and are committed to satisfying Chinese customers’ demands.
The KODIAQ targets the fastest growing compact SUV market. What will the KODIAQ bring to the Skoda brand?
Skoda recently launched the world premiere of its all-new SUV – the KODIAQ in Berlin. It is a new member of the Skoda family and also the first SUV after Skoda’s “crystal revolution” in its design language. As an A+ class SUV, the KODIAQ targets the fastest growing compact SUV market, with high expectations from Skoda.
According to statistics, in the first half of 2016, the global sales of Skoda were 569,400 vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 4.6%, setting a new first-half-year sales record. The Superb saw the highest growth, with its sales increased by 81.1% on a year-on-year basis to 70,100 vehicles; the sales of the Fabia were increased by 14.0% on a year-on-year basis to 104,700 ones; and the sales of the Yeti were increased by 11.7% on a year-on-year basis to 52,400 ones. China is still Skoda’s largest market - in the first half of this year, a total of 145,800 Skoda cars were sold, a year-on-year increase of 5.4%, contributing 25.6% of its global sales. So what will the KODIAQ bring to this brand?
Just before the world premiere of the KODIAQ, Mr. Bernhard Maier, CEO of Skoda Auto, said a few things about this model in an interview with International Business Daily and Sanlian Lifeweek:
The KODIAQ is perhaps more advanced than the Superb
There is always a clear line between the brand image and the product image. Our new design language started with the all-new Superb, which was a key milestone for Skoda’s design. The Superb inherited all design elements of this brand and also applied the new design language, which incorporated clear lines, crystal cutting and some design ideas from the Czech cubism. All these characters made the Superb a brand new product.
Speaking of the product image, we have taken a totally different attitude towards SUVs. The KODIAQ is a SUV model while the Superb is a sedan. The latter is very close to the ground while the former is a little higher. But overall, the two have completely the same brand features. Perhaps the KODIAQ is more advanced than the Superb.
The KODIAQ has applied innovative technologies
Design has always mattered to us and even more now. If we are to list the reasons for choosing a car, design will only be second to the brand and its rational value. Beside the image and rational value of the brand, now we are more focusing on the emotional value and trying to reflect it in the interiors and appearances of cars using our design language.
We are also using innovative technologies, which we did in this KODIAQ - providing it with new connectivity solutions; we also applied the latest electronic assistance system, which cannot be found in any other previous models.
Being in the largest A-class car market segment, the Octavia has definitely been one of our best sellers. But with the rapid growth of the global SUV market, we expect the KODIAQ will become a big contributor to our global sales as this model really has what it takes to be a “brand builder” or “brand changer”. We are fully prepared in terms of production capacity and we have just finished the comparison of the KODIAQ with other competitors and the result is encouraging.
The KODIAQ is the beginning of SKoda’s extensive SUV campaign
The model was launched under the motto “Discover New Grounds”. For customers, the KODIAQ not only inherits the brand elements but also incorporates innovative features. Under this motto, we will soon launch brand and product promotion campaigns. Now we are busy making preparations for the launch of the KODIAQ in China in the middle of next year. Through these campaigns, we are trying to deliver a clear message: this is a young and refreshing SUV model that has inherited all elements of Skoda and applied innovative technologies to keep users online 24/7 and meet all of their travel demands, which is quite rare in the Chinese market. What is more, the KODIAQ is only the beginning of our extensive SUV campaign, especially in the Chinese market. Besides this soon-to-be-launched model, we will also roll out the new-generation Yeti and more crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) in the future. All of these show that we are now focusing on this market segment and are committed to satisfying Chinese customers’ demands.
We are going to co-invest 2 billion Euros with our joint venture in the next four years
There was a major change in our cooperation with the joint venture in the beginning of this year – we are going to take part of the JV’s shares. This provides us an opportunity to promote our own brand for the first time. In the past, as there was no SAIC-Skoda, this brand was not clearly positioned. Now things are going to change greatly - we will officially become a shareholder of the joint venture and thus will be able to promote our brand language and launch brand campaigns. We have decided to co-invest 2 billion Euros with our joint venture in the next four years. This huge investment is intended to improve our competitiveness in the Chinese market and double our sales. To achieve this goal, we are also considering adjusting our organizational structure. The specific plan will be announced when it is ready.
We have adopted a new brand management system
Currently, we have the youngest and most refreshing product portfolio ever in the history of Skoda, which can really help increase our sales, especially in the Chinese market. This year, our growth was ahead of the market. We achieved great sales this August, including the good performance of the all-new Superb. In the future, a stronger brand image will definitely put us in a much more favorable position.
Speaking of brand image promotion, we are going to resort to the internet as our major channel. We have just adopted a new brand management system to help us measure our brand awareness for the first time. After consulting experts and scholars, we have confirmed that this is an effective system and have set this year as the base year. Under this system, we are comparing our brand image and value with competitors’ to find out our own strengths and weaknesses so that we will know what measures to take to improve our brand awareness. This is a huge and comprehensive project which is being carried out not only in China but also around the world.