ŠKODA in China: since the brand returned to the Chinese market in 2007, it has written a unique success story. For nine years, China has been the Czech carmaker’s largest single market worldwide – one in four ŠKODAs is currently delivered there. Despite a decreasing overall market, ŠKODA once again celebrated a record year in 2018 and, in comparison to 2017, its sales figures increased by 4.9 per cent from 325,000 to 341,000 vehicles. Since 2007, ŠKODA has delivered an impressive total of 2.6 million vehicles in China and the brand is to further expand its presence in the future as well by making major financial investments and launching its first all-electric models.
ŠKODA did business in China for the first time as early as the 1930s. In 1936, the Czech brand had five sales agencies in the Asian country. However, the real success story began in 2007, when – after a break lasting for decades – ŠKODA returned to the Chinese market as part of the SAIC Volkswagen joint venture and immediately began producing the ŠKODA OCTAVIA locally in Ningbo. The KAROQ is the second model produced there. The KODIAQ and its coupé variant, the KODIAQ GT, are manufactured at Volkswagen’s joint venture plant in Changsha. The RAPID and RAPID SPACEBACK roll off the production line at the Yizheng plant, whilst the SUPERB and KAMIQ are both built in Nanjing.
One in four ŠKODAs is sold in China
ŠKODA has enjoyed stronger growth in the Chinese market than any other European manufacturer. China has been the most significant market in the world for ŠKODA since as early as 2010. Despite difficult economic conditions, in 2018 the Czech carmaker continued its run of record years and delivery figures increased by 4.9 per cent to 341,000 vehicles. In 2017, 325,000 new cars were delivered to customers in China. One in four ŠKODAs is currently sold in China – equating to 2.6 million vehicle sales since 2007. Amongst these is a particularly special milestone vehicle: the 22 millionth ŠKODA to be delivered since the company was founded in 1895 was a ŠKODA KODIAQ GT. The brand’s first SUV coupé is produced exclusively for the Chinese market.
In addition to the successful SUV campaign – China is the only market worldwide in which ŠKODA offers four SUV models – the introduction of e-mobility is playing an important role in continuing to increase sales figures.
Over the next three years, ŠKODA will be investing more than 200 million euros in China in its model range and brand awareness as well as 1.9 million euros in expanding its sales network to more than 700 dealerships. In 2016, during the state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Czech Republic, a memorandum of understanding was signed concerning a five-year plan. The plan states that a total of more than two billion euros will be invested in the expansion of the SUV portfolio and in ŠKODA vehicles with alternative drive systems.