Skoda advertising & marketing assignments

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Selected Skoda advertising

Czech car brand Skoda has undergone a complete reinvention since its acquisition by Volkswagen Group in 1991. Because of its Eastern European heritage it retained a reputation for several years as a lower quality brand, but the group has worked hard to overturn those preconceptions. Indeed a key element of the brand's marketing in other European markets since the 1990s has been a mocking acknowledgement of those old misconceptions. The brand's lower cost manufacturing base in the Czech Republic enables pricing to be kept low, allowing Skoda to be presented as value for money brand. Marketing has concentrated for several years on emphasising the brand's high quality despite its low cost. The "Simply Clever" slogan has been used since 2008 in keeping with that positioning of smart understatement. The range is split between smaller cars like the Fabia and Rapid, the biggest sellers in Eastern Europe, and the high quality Octavia sedan, the flagship model in Western markets, with newer sporty SUVs like the Yeti/Karoq. These are complemented by a top of the range limousine, the Superb. Deliveries topped 1m units for the first time in 2014 and reached a new high in 2018 of 1.25m units before slipping back. Registrations for Covid-impacted 2020 were 1.01m vehicles. The flagship model is the Octavia sedan, which alone accounted for 400k units in 2018, making it the single biggest non-VW model within the Volkswagen Group's whole portfolio. Volumes slipped to 265k for 2020 (and it was overtaken by the Audi Q5 as the group's top-selling non-VW model). Other key Skoda models are the Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs. The Skoda brand continues to dominate the comparatively small Czech car market, with almost a full third of local market share, three times the sales of its nearest rival (which is sister brand VW). However, China is now Skoda's single biggest market by sales, despite a steep fall in sales since 2018 to 173k cars in 2020. The Kamiq is an SUV designed specifically for the Chinese market. Germany is another major territory (162k), followed by Russia (95k) and the Czech Republic (83k). Thomas Schaefer is divisional CEO. Skoda is in fact one of the world's oldest surviving automobile manufacturers, first established in 1895 as Laurin & Klement, before being acquired by the Skoda industrial conglomerate in 1925. It was nationalised by the Communist government after the Second World War, and then gradually privatised from 1991 onwards. Volkswagen initially acquired a 30% stake from the Czech government, and gradually increased its holding to full control over the course of the following five years.

Capsule checked 5th March 2021

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