Skoda, the Czech car manufacturer and a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, has been making waves in the German car market with its impressive performance in 2023. According to the latest data from the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), Skoda increased its new registrations in Germany by more than 17 percent in the first seven months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022. This resulted in one of the highest market shares in the company’s history, reaching 6.1 percent.
But how did Skoda achieve such remarkable growth in a highly competitive and mature market like Germany? What are the factors behind its success, and what can other car brands learn from its example?
Skoda’s Innovative Strategy
One of the main reasons for Skoda’s success in Germany is its innovative strategy that combines product differentiation, customer focus, and sustainability. Let’s take a closer look at each of these aspects.
Skoda has been able to differentiate itself from other car brands by offering a wide range of models that cater to different customer segments and needs. From the compact and urban Skoda Fabia to the spacious and versatile Skoda Superb, from the sporty and dynamic Skoda Octavia RS to the adventurous and robust Skoda Kodiaq, Skoda has a car for everyone. Moreover, Skoda has been investing heavily in the electrification and digitalization of its products, launching new models such as the Skoda Enyaq iV, the first fully electric SUV from the brand, and the Skoda Scala, the first model to feature the new infotainment system with a 9.2-inch touchscreen and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Both customers and experts have recognized and rewarded Skoda’s product differentiation strategy. In 2023, Skoda won seven titles in the ‘Company Car of the Year 2021’ competition, organized by the trade journal ‘firmenauto’ and the inspection company DEKRA. The jury, composed of 250 fleet managers, praised Skoda for its quality, reliability, value for money, and residual value.
Another key element of Skoda’s strategy is its customer focus. Skoda has been listening to its customers and understanding their needs, preferences, and expectations. Skoda has been implementing the Simply Clever philosophy, which aims to make the lives of its customers easier and more enjoyable by providing smart and practical solutions. Some examples of these solutions are the umbrella in the door, the ice scraper in the fuel cap, the phone box with wireless charging, and the sleep package with comfortable headrests.
Skoda has also been enhancing its customer experience by offering various services and benefits, such as the Skoda Care Connect, which allows customers to access their car remotely via a smartphone app, the Skoda Service Plan, which covers the costs of maintenance and inspections for a fixed period of time, and the Skoda Warranty Extension, which extends the warranty period up to five years or 150,000 kilometers.
The third pillar of Skoda’s strategy is sustainability. Skoda has been committed to reducing its environmental impact and contributing to a greener future. Skoda has been increasing its share of electric and hybrid vehicles in its portfolio, aiming to have 10 electrified models by 2025. Skoda has also been supporting the development of charging infrastructure in Germany, partnering with the energy company E.ON to install 400 public charging stations by 2023.
Skoda has also been improving its production efficiency and resource management, reducing its CO2 emissions, water consumption, and waste generation. Skoda has been implementing the GreenFuture strategy, which consists of three pillars: GreenProduct, GreenRetail, and GreenFactory. Skoda has also been participating in the Volkswagen Group’s CO2 pool, which aims to achieve the EU’s CO2 emission targets for new cars.