ŠKODA: Scaling new heights in fleet
With new sales passing the one million mark for the first time in 2014 the team at ŠKODA can look back at the year just gone and smile. We caught up with Pavel Hlavacek, the new responsible for Global Fleet & Used Car Development, to find out how a strong product line up and a solid TCO have helped ŠKODA achieve success.
“For the first time in our 119 year history we crossed the magic threshold of producing and selling one million vehicles in a single year”, says Pavel Hlavacek. “Every month in 2014 we broke a sales record as our new model range attracted more and more new customers.”
Company performance in the true fleet segment mirrored this success too. “We indeed increased our share of fleet on total ŠKODA sales by 7 percentage points, from 41 % in 2013 a 48 % in 2014. Why? Our corporate clients have been impressed with the TCO studies of our new models, the service support that ŠKODA offers and our cars strong residual values. The newly released third generation Octavia has also proved a resounding success and cemented itself as a firm favorite amongst corporate fleet clients in multiple markets.”Geographically speaking ŠKODA has seen growth across Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and China.
We understand that ŠKODA is doing extremely well in local markets and with local fleets, but what about performance with fleet customers at the international level?
P. Hlavacek: “International fleet customers are extremely important to us. We cooperate closely with Volkswagen Group Fleet International to ensure that the needs of international fleet customers are met. This partnership serves both parties really well.
ŠKODA performs strongly across all types of fleet customers. From big and medium sized fleet sales, through to SMEs. We have a product offering that's tailored to satisfy our wide customer base.”
What new models, innovations and new service offers will we see from ŠKODA in 2015?
P. Hlavacek: “We've got some really exciting stuff, the new Superb will be a game changer on the fleet market. So far we received tremendously positive feedback. The overall appearance of that model further significantly improved.
Beside that Fabia and Fabia Combi are launched in all markets. As you can imagine we are really looking forward to taking this car to fleet customers. We'll also be refining our service models to build on our after sales service and we will further expand our dedicated Fleet Business Centres across Europe in order to deliver quality and consistency.”
What is it that attracts fleet customers to ŠKODA over the competition?
P. Hlavacek: “ŠKODA offers fleet customers very good value for money and a great product mix. We are well priced, our model range offers either class leading or competitive TCO, and ŠKODAs residual values are strong and stable. On top of all this company drivers get a safe, superbly designed and roomy car, offering new technologies that make driving a ŠKODA a truly satisfying experience. We know that user choosers exert a significant impact on vehicle selection and we aim to please.”
In a recent press communication, it became clear that ŠKODA plans to increase their global sales to at least 1.5 million vehicles within the next few years. “After crossing the million mark, 1.5 million seems a whole lot closer,” says ŠKODA CEO Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland. To achieve their growth targets, the manufacturer is expanding the production plants both in the Czech Republic and at their sites around the world.