Dec 07, 2012– Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (Techreleased) – ŠKODA today initiated production of the ŠKODA Yeti at GAZ’s plant in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, making this the second location producing ŠKODA automobiles in the country.
“CKD production of the Yeti is another milestone for our growth in Russia,” says ŠKODA CEO Winfried Vahland. “Russia is our third-strongest sales market worldwide and our number two in Europe as it is, and we intend to grow further in years to come, which is why we are resolutely extending our model offensive in this country and expanding local capacity further,” says Vahland. Besides the ŠKODA Yeti, the new ŠKODA Octavia will be made at Nizhny Novgorod for the Russian market, with production due to begin in mid- 2013.
Production at Nizhny Novgorod is in a partnership of Volkswagen Group Russia and Russian automobile manufacturer GAZ Group. The ŠKODA Yeti is the first model to run off the line in Nizhny Novgorod under this cooperation. CKD (Completely Knocked Down) production involves complete production of a vehicle including the areas of body construction, paint shop and assembly. In preparation for CKD production, the ŠKODA Yeti has been running off the line at Nizhny Novgorod in SKD (Semi Knocked Down) production since late 2011, SKD involving pre-assembled vehicle bodies.
In the first ten months of 2012, ŠKODA has sold 13,600 Yetis in Russia or twice as many as a year ago (6,000). “This shows the importance of local production,” says Michael Oeljeklaus, ŠKODA board member for production and logistics. “In GAZ Group, we have a strong local partner at our side. GAZ is a company with about 80 years of experience in car making, with a profound knowledge of the Russian market and highly skilled staff.”
ŠKODA’s other production location in Russia, Kaluga, is home to production of the current ŠKODA Octavia and the Fabia, with production of the new ŠKODA Rapid for the Russian market scheduled to be added from early 2014. The ŠKODA Rapid sets new standards in its segment in terms of space and functionality, impressing with an excellent price-value ratio. “The ŠKODA Rapid is the perfect family car and it is sure to become very popular precisely in Russia,” says CEO Vahland.
ŠKODA has been extremely successful in Russia in 2012 as deliveries to customers have risen 40 per cent year on year to 80,100 from January through October 2012, a new record for the first ten months in a year, and one that has had ŠKODA growing almost three times as fast as the overall market. This means the brand is impressively continuing its successful trend of recent years, which has seen ŠKODA’s annual deliveries in Russia growing almost tenfold from 7,500 to 74,100 between 2005 and 2011.
Under its 2018 growth strategy, ŠKODA intends to raise its global sales to at least 1.5 million per year as the company introduces a new or revised model every six months on average in the years ahead. This is the largest model offensive in the company’s history.