Lack of demand is killing the pint-sized car.
A sister model of the Volkswagen up! and SEAT Mii, the Skoda Citigo was facelifted a few months ago and will soldier on for a few years before the peeps from Mladá Boleslav will pull the plug on their smallest car in the range. The reasoning behind this decision is very simple: the A-segment is going down in terms of demand and it would be wiser to invest the money in new SUVs since their popularity is still booming.
The announcement was made Skoda’s international sales general manager, Peter Solc, who went on to specify the company’s focus is now on SUVs. He actually hinted the range of high-riding vehicles could be expanded from the current two (Kodiaq, Karoq) to beyond four in a few years as a way to capitalize on the segment’s immense growth. While Solc did not disclose the identity of the new models, one of them will likely be a Fabia-related subcompact model and the other might take the shape of a crossover coupe in the same vein as the Vision E concept unveiled earlier this year.
In related news, the Skoda official also revealed a pickup truck does not rank high on the company’s list of priorities. Since the VW-owned Czech marque doesn’t have a strong presence in South America and it’s not available at all in United States where the utilitarian body style is very popular, the company fears there might not be enough demand to justify the efforts. That’s why it’s putting development of a pickup truck — which would likely be based on the VW Amarok — on the back burner for the time being.
Aside from channeling their efforts into expanding the crossover portfolio, Skoda is also focusing on its EV agenda. Five entirely electric cars will be out by the middle of the next decade, with the first one set to hit the market in 2020. Until then, the Superb and Kodiaq will be the brand’s first electrified models as the two will get plug-in hybrid powertrains around 2019.
Source: Skoda via Motoring