VIENNA – Skoda, Volkswagen Group’s Czech subsidiary, reports manufacturing a record 736,977 cars at its Mlada Boleslav and Kvasiny plants in the Czech Republic in 2015, up 0.14% from year-ago.
Two new models to be presented at the Geneva auto show in March are to significantly raise production at Skoda’s Kvasiny facility.
Production of the first of the two models, the SEAT Ateca CUV, already is under way in Kvasiny. Skoda is manufacturing SEAT’s first CUV for the VW Group-owned Spanish brand.
A concept of the second new vehicle, Skoda’s first 7-seat SUV, will be shown in Geneva as the Skoda VisionS. The plug-in hybrid concept is 185 ins. (4,700 mm) long, 75 ins. (1,910 mm) wide and 66 ins. (1,680 mm) tall.
The final production version of the vehicle, which is based on VW Group’s MQB platform, will be unveiled in October at the Paris auto show. Manufacturing launches later this year in Kvasiny.
According to Czech media the new model, internally named the Snowman, may be dubbed the Skoda Kodiaq.
In addition to the two new vehicles, Skoda is producing both its Yeti small SUV and its sedan and wagon versions of its Superb flagship in Kvasiny. The successor to the Yeti is to be unveiled next year.
Skoda will increase annual capacity at the Kvasiny plant to 280,000 vehicles and create 1,300 new jobs by 2018.
The factory assembled about 150,000 vehicles in 2015, compared with 166,200 in 2014. The reason for last year’s decline was the end of Skoda Roomster production in the spring and the switch from the second to third Superb generation.
As demand for the new Superb is high, Skoda is looking for ways to increase production of its largest model.
The automaker is investing CK7. 2 billion ($297 million) in the expansion. The Czech government and the region where Kvasiny is located are supporting the automaker by investing in projects such as transport-infrastructure improvements and creation of a supplier park near the Skoda plant.