China‘s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli visits ŠKODA

Another important state visit to Mladá Boleslav: China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, accompanied by the Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantang and a high-level governmental and media delegation from China, was a guest of ŠKODA AUTO today. The visitors were accompanied by Jan Hamáček, President of the Czech Parliament.

The primary focus of the half-day visit was a meeting with the CEO of ŠKODA, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland, the ŠKODA Board of Management, Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, member of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management with responsibility for China, as well as the KOVO MB leader of the Works Council, Jaroslav Povšík. As well as discussing current topics, the visitors were particularly given information about the successful development of the ŠKODA brand as well as its international ŠKODA production network. They also discussed the significance of the Chinese market for the international car industry and opportunities for the ŠKODA brand in China. As well as this, the programme included a visit to the ŠKODA museum and the Octavia production line at ŠKODA’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav.

“ŠKODA’s development in China over the last seven years is a success story,” says ŠKODA CEO Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. “Sales in excess of 1.2 million vehicles since 2007 demonstrate that our brand is well received by the Chinese customers. China, the number-one growth market globally, is a core pillar in ŠKODA’s growth strategy and offers us promising opportunities. We intend to increase the number of cars delivered annually to at least 500,000 in the coming years and for this reason we will continue our model campaign strongly,” says Prof. Dr. Vahland.

As the largest individual market, China has great importance for ŠKODA. The 227,000 deliveries to Chinese customers made up around a quarter of ŠKODA’s global vehicle sales in 2013. The Czech car manufacturer has been operating in China since 2007. Since then, ŠKODA has delivered more than 1.2 million vehicles in China. During the first seven months of this year, deliveries in China grew by 17.3 per cent to 151,800 vehicles.

When it comes to its plans for growth, the Czech car manufacturer is banking on the most attractive model portfolio for China ever. Recently, ŠKODA expanded its China portfolio to include six models. The highlight and star rocket of these fireworks of products is the new ŠKODA Octavia. On sale in China since May, this third-generation model is in a class of its own and sets new standards as far as space, functionality, technology and design are concerned.

Altogether, the ŠKODA range available in China includes the following models: the Fabia, Rapid, Rapid Spaceback, Octavia, Yeti, Yeti 4×4, Superb and Superb Combi. The car manufacturer is counting on local production: six models – the Fabia, Rapid, Rapid Spaceback, Octavia, Yeti und Superb – are being produced locally in cooperation with the Chinese partner Shanghai Volkswagen (SVW). ŠKODA manufacturing operations are based at the SVW sites in Anting, Yizheng und Ningbo.