Škoda’s plans are wide-ranging and ambitious, and it’s clear that VW Group overlords see an opportunity for the brand to get bigger both in Europe, and globally. It will obviously benefit from VW’s overarching plans for the next decade, which were laid out back in March at the Group’s Power Day, with goals such as the proportion of EVs it will sell lining up with Group ambitions.
In broad terms, the Strategy 2030 is split into three priority areas: Expand, Explore and Engage. The first aims to grow Škoda into a top-five brand by sales in Europe. Explore will see it push into new markets, including India, Russia and North Africa. Finally, Engage focusses on sustainability, customer experience, diversity, education and training, improving brand interactions and the ownership experience.
“At least” three new Škoda-branded EVs will be launched by 2030, all of which will sit below the Enyaq iV in the model line-up in terms of both size and price. There’s no indication of exactly what these will look like, but with the brand kitting out its Czech plants to build MEB battery systems in order to support the development of the Czech Republic as an electromobility hub, all will be based on VW’s flagship platform.
By 2030, Škoda’s aim is to have EVs make up between 50 and 70 per cent of all its new car sales in Europe. The caveat is, and will continue to be, whether more markets close off new petrol and diesel sales (including PHEVs) between now and 2030.
Alongside the production of new EVs, Škoda is tightening its wider environmental targets so that by 2030, its fleet emissions are down by 50 per cent on 2020 levels. Further to this, all cars built in the Czech Republic and India will leave the factory carbon neutral from 2030 onwards. The obvious question here is what about the rest of the world (such as China and Russia) with the obvious assumption being that carbon neutrality isn’t on the agenda.
Another question when it comes to increasing the number of EVs that Škoda sells is around the cars it aims to sell in the markets where it is hoping to drastically increase its share. The brand’s goal as part of its ‘Explore’ priority is to be the leading European car maker in India, Russia and North Africa by 2030, exploiting the potential 1.5 million additional sales in these markets.
In the immediate term, the brand will look to launch the Kushaq – the first car to be introduced in India as part of the new push in other emerging markets. Given that it is an SUV that comes exclusively with petrol engines, it doesn’t exactly bode well for genuine, global green ambitions.
Škoda’s Engage priority will introduce new ways of interacting with the brand. Online selling, facilitated by virtual showrooms, is already in place in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic, and the brand will expand this into other markets with the aim of 20 per cent of sales being online by 2025. For plug-in Škodas, the PowerPass project will see easy access to 210,000 charging points across 30 markets emerging in the next few years, too.