31 Jan 2017 | 09.49 am
Interview: John Donegan, ŠKODA Ireland
Kodiaq is ŠKODA’s entry into the large SUV market
31 Jan 2017 | 09.49 am
The Superb and Octavia have been selling well for ŠKODA, and new to market in in 2017 is the Kodiaq SUV, says John Donegan, Director of ŠKODA Ireland
What kind of a year did ŠKODA have in 2016?
Fantastic! We’ve grown our volume to over 9,500 new cars, increased our market share and all our dealer partners have completed their showroom upgrade projects in the last 12 months.
What has been ŠKODA’s bestselling model in 2016?
The Octavia. It is the fourth bestselling car in Ireland and accounts for nearly 50% of our volume each year. Its popularity is down to great pricing, specifications, build quality, residual values and spaciousness. Within the range, there is so much choice including 4×4 and DSG Automatic transmissions, spacious estates and sporty RS models.
What’s the best ŠKODA executive buy?
The Superb L&K (pictured) has the perfect balance of value for money, performance, spaciousness and practicality. I would challenge any business buyer to find a car with as much rear interior space combined with so much luggage capacity. The estate version is as popular as the saloon and is offered with 4×4 technology. Based on value for money and performance criteria there is no other car on the market that can compare to the Octavia RS. With 184bhp from a 2.0 TDI engine you might expect this car to be both expensive and costly to run. On the contrary, it delivers 62mpg while providing an exhilarating and entertaining ride and retailing at just €33,495.
What’s the best ŠKODA family buy?
The Octavia Combi has the biggest boot in its class, with 610 litres of luggage space.
What’s your best fleet buy?
The all-new Superb Style, the largest car in its class. Fleet managers continue to be impressed by the low running costs and high residual value associated with ŠKODA vehicles.
What new and revised models are on the way in 2017?
2017 will see the arrival of the facelifted Octavia, with state-of-the-art driver assistance solutions, infotainment and connectivity, as well as new equipment. We have also launched 1.0 TSI, 115bhp petrol engine in the Octavia and it is very impressive. Small engines in big cars are not the norm, but this is not a normal engine.
Our most exciting launch in 2017 will ŠKODA’s entry into the large SUV market with the Kodiaq (pictured above). It will be the largest and most modern car amongst its peers and will be offered with a choice of either five or seven seats. The Kodiaq’s luggage capacity and interior spaciousness will be best-in-class.
What level of connectivity do ŠKODA cars offer?
SmartLink is offered on the ŠKODA range and all of our infotainment systems can pair with your smartphone via Bluetooth or the SmartLink interface.
What is happening in your dealer network?
In the past year the face of the ŠKODA dealer network has changed completely. ŠKODA now has one of the most modern showroom facilities of any car brand in Ireland. Customers can experience our products in comfortable environments and our dealers have invested heavily in property, construction and personnel.
What’s your perception of buyer sentiment?
The recent Brexit vote is a challenge for the Irish market. However, the fundamentals of the economy are strong. I believe it is key that people looking to buy a new car purchase it from a reputable Irish franchise dealer that can offer the support and assurance that is so important when buying a new or used car.