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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 15: Remember the Skoda?

Remember the Skoda?

 

If you go back a ways, you'll remember a time when there were a few Iron Curtain country cars being sold in North America. Bad timing. Bad cars. When they were trying to make inroads, the Brits had the market cornered (where did they all go?) and smaller, bad quality cars were not really on people's "got to have it" lists. Remember the Skoda? If you don't, you are probably better for it. This Czechoslovakian car made its debut on our shores in the late '50's, outdated and out qualitied by most everything else on the road.

The pics above show the the poor quality cars that, made a short and unlasting impression on our car buying public. The pic below shows the follow up that was quite common on the roads of Europe. Price driven? That must have been the answer, since the Europeans had a plethora of quality vehicles to chose from.


Flash forward to glasnost and this old Czech company (1895) was facing competition from all those newly available and so much better cars, from the other side of that formerly hard to penetrate iron curtain. What to do? In Skoda's case, it was join up with Volkswagen, which means, be bought by VW. Keep the familiar name and add VW quality. Originally mean to be a "bargain" brand for Volkswagen to sell in the newly freed up Iron Curtain countries, Skoda morphed into something that was so much more.

Funny with Volkswagen. They have their own extensive range of VW branded cars, but competing against them, they have their other brands, the Spanish Seat and the Czech Skoda. Both with strong and interesting product lines. Some of Skoda's cars are similar to a model from VW. For example, the Skoda Citigo, which is pulled off the Up platform and is easily identifiable as such.......


Or the Fabia, which looks to be direct Golf competitor, but some unique design features to set it apart........
But others are their own model with no other VW product that looks remotely similar. Think of the Yeti, sort of a small suv...... 


You see lots of these in Europe and they are as good looking in real life as it is in this photo. Distinctive? Absolutely. 

Others in the line are the Octavia........


.......and the line topper, the newly redesigned Superb.........


Pricing? Actually a touch higher than comparable VWs. The Superb used to look like an old Passat, dowdy, but with this new design, it can stand on it own, when compared to any other European sedan.

What might the future hold for Skoda? Based on these couple of concepts, I'd say the line will continue to be a strong player in a very competitive market.......


The now common four door coupe style and the raised station wagon, almost an suv style that, VW has done with the Audi Allroad and the soon to be introduced Golf Alltrack......


So old Skoda could have died a quick death, overwhelmed by quality European brands, but Volkswagon, saw another way to go. Develop a known name. It's taken 25 years to get to this point, but as you can see it's in good hands. Will we ever see Skoda over here? Never say never, but I strongly doubt it. Just buy a ticket to Europe and indulge your car viewing passion.

Until next time......


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