This month, Škoda Singapore celebrates its first birthday. We take a look at its journey in our Little Red Dot so far, and examine why it’s already a force to be reckoned with in Singapore’s mainstream car market
Over the course of 2018, a major success in Singapore’s car industry took shape. After a five-year absence, the Czech carmaker Škoda made a return to Singapore, and a triumphant one at that.
Under the care and management of Volkswagen Group Singapore (VGS), Škoda had its best-ever year of sales here in 2018. Despite only beginning operations in March, Škoda Singapore managed to sell 452 cars last year (and a further 70 cars in January 2019 alone), far beyond the best that the previous dealer ever managed, which was 105 units in 2010.
But what is it that makes Škodas stand out from the crowd? Well, part of that’s surely down to the principle behind every Škoda car; the brand is centered around providing great value. That’s not to say that Škoda is in the business of making cheap, basic cars, but rather, affordable yet great-performing ones.
As Mr Ricky Tay, Managing Director of VGS (below) puts it: “At Škoda, we are able to offer award-winning cars with outstanding value, thanks to the successful alliance of Škoda and Volkswagen since 1991. With Škoda’s excellent price-performance ratio, we have won over a significant group of new customers with our top quality and compelling value-for-money proposition, can safely say that car buyers here have come to recognise Škoda as a smart choice.”
The philosophy that goes towards Škoda’s popularity is called ‘Simply Clever’, which refer to ingeniously-designed solutions to everyday needs. Features like card holders integrated into the base of the windscreen; perfectly-sized storage for tablets, large water bottles, phones, and umbrellas; hooks, nets and load space separators in the boot; ventilated seats; removable waste bins; motion-activated tailgates; air-conditioned gloveboxes – all of these and more are features that will spark joy in owners as they get to know their Škodas.
Indeed, the Simply Clever features are what caught the attention of Mr Jonathan Loh, a Kodiaq owner: “I love the many innovative features such as the door protector and umbrellas in the door frame, and the fact that it is value for money,” he says.
But the greatness of Škoda cars doesn’t coalesce only over time, it’s pretty apparent from the moment you hop in. That’s why Škoda cars managed to rack up ten Car of the Year awards across various motoring publications in Singapore, more than any other brand, and numerous more overseas too.
But perhaps the best accolades Skoda can boast of are the ones given by customers.
Said Mr Adrian Lo, another Kodiaq owner, “I tested ALL the current SUV models available in the market from Volvo, BMW, Merc, Mazda etc. The drive was what sold me on the Kodiaq, as it was comfortable, powerful and yet you knew you were in control as a driver with its handling. Many SUVs drove like a van or truck but the size of the Kodiaq is not felt when you are behind the steering wheel.”
Mr Loh shared a similar sentiment, “I was considering a BMW X3 but this met my objectives a lot better in providing a stylish SUV for the whole family.”
So what’s next for Škoda?
Well you can be absolutely sure the brand is here to stay for good this time round. VGS is absolutely committed to this market, and is dedicated to providing an exceptional ownership experience to its customers, both in terms of its product offerings, as well as continuous investments in aftersales.
Here are a few of Škoda’s more impressive milestones from its remarkable journey so far: