Today, the 22 millionth ŠKODA vehicle was produced. The milestone vehicle, a ŠKODA KODIAQ GT in Velvet Red, rolled off the production line at the SAIC VOLKSWAGEN plant in Changsha. This Sunday, the vehicle will be presented at the ‘ŠKODA Day’ which is taking place ahead of this year’s Auto Shanghai (16-25 April).
ŠKODA AUTO CEO Bernhard Maier said, “ŠKODA is growing very dynamically. We have sold more than a quarter of all the ŠKODA vehicles produced in our company’s 124-year history in the last five years alone. The passing of the 22-million mark is yet another milestone that motivates us to consistently continue this growth. We will be doing this by launching more than 30 new models in the markets by the end of 2022 as part of our product campaign. China will play a crucial role in this: since we entered the Chinese market twelve years ago, ŠKODA AUTO has developed very well there – China is now our largest single market. Our attractive model range as well as our great and trusting collaboration with our long-standing joint venture partner, SAIC VOLKSWAGEN, are the foundations for this success.”
ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Production and Logistics, Michael Oeljeklaus, added, “As part of our growth strategy, we utilise an international and efficient production network. At present, we manufacture at a total of 16 sites in nine countries. The fact that our 22 millionth vehicle was produced in China is also proof of the ŠKODA brand’s successful internationalisation.”
Dr Ralf Hanschen, President of ŠKODA China, said, “Today, we have 22 million reasons to be proud. The production milestone is a special honour for our largest single market. Our flagship, the KODIAQ GT, is the fourth SUV model in the Chinese market and it rounds off the top end of our SUV offering in China.”
ŠKODA AUTO is one of the longest-established vehicle manufacturers in the world. As early as 1905, the company started car production in Mladá Boleslav with the Voiturette A developed by the company founders Laurin and Klement. Since then, it has been produced 22 million ŠKODA vehicles at Czech and international plants.
In recent years, the Czech car manufacturer has further expanded its production capacity. To this end, the brand has invested more than 300 billion CZK in production processes and factories in the Czech Republic alone since 1991. In 2014, ŠKODA AUTO produced more than one million vehicles in a calendar year for the first time. In September 2017, the long-established Czech brand’s 20 millionth vehicle rolled off the production line at the Kvasiny plant in the Czech Republic.
By as early as 1936, the Czech brand had five sales agencies in China. The Czech manufacturer entered the Chinese market again in 2007. Back then, ŠKODA began production of the OCTAVIA locally under the umbrella of SAIC Volkswagen. In close collaboration with the Chinese joint venture partner, ŠKODA had already developed China into its most important single market by 2010. After 75 months, the milestone of one million vehicles delivered was achieved; it took a mere 42 months to sell the second million. For the last three years, ŠKODA has been further developing its position and increasing its presence in the Chinese market. During the state visit of the Chinese president Xi Jinping to the Czech Republic in March 2016, Volkswagen, SAIC Motor Corporation Limited and ŠKODA AUTO signed a memorandum of understanding. This memorandum provides for a five-year investment plan worth €2 billion. The objective is to expand the current model range, for example by adding vehicles with alternative drive systems and several SUVs. ŠKODA delivered more than 300,000 cars a year in China for the first time in 2016. In the largest individual market worldwide, deliveries from the Czech manufacturer increased to 341,000 vehicles in 2018 (2017: 325,000 vehicles, +4.9%).
In years to come, ŠKODA will continue its growth strategy by launching more than 30 new models worldwide by the end of 2022, ten of which will be electrified.
Selected milestones in ŠKODA vehicle production history: