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By delivering high-quality products at compelling prices, Skoda has successfully captured customers' desires here in Singapore.

22 Mar 2019

23 March 2019 marks the one-year anniversary of Skoda's return to Singapore. Under the stewardship of parent group Volkswagen, the Skoda Singapore opened its brand new showroom last year, located at 26 Leng Kee Road.

Skoda returned to Singapore after a five-year hiatus
In that one-year span, the Skoda brand has achieved significant success, on the back of a strong stable of products, as well as offering customers access into a more premium car ownership bracket.

After all, when buying a car, it's more than just a product - it's a 10-year (sometimes more) ownership experience that demands quality, reliability and consistency.

Award-winning products

The strength of a brand is first and foremost anchored in its products. In its first year of operation, the Skoda brand has managed to win over a significant group of car owners with its combination of quality products and compelling value-for-money proposition.

The Kodiaq was voted SGCM SUV of the Year in 2018
Last year, Skoda has launched a total of five models, backed by numerous awards both globally and in Singapore as well.

The Octavia was voted sgCarMart (SGCM) Sedan of the Year, the Kodiaq was voted SGCM Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) of the Year, and the brand totalled 10 Car of the Year awards in Singapore in 2018.

These awards recognise the quality of the Skoda products, and the ability for the various Skoda models to deliver exactly what customers want.

Take for example the popular Octavia - it packs a powerful 1.4-litre TSI engine, has an ample 1,580-litre boot, and has generous amounts of cabin amenities. Thus, it manages to check all the right boxes for a practical family sedan.

Skoda's excellent price-performance ratio makes the brand a smart choice for customers
It's clear, then, that Skoda cars stand out with its ability to deliver premium quality at an attractive price point.

As Volkswagen Group Singapore Managing Director Mr. Ricky Tay tells us, "With Skoda's excellent price-performance ratio, consumers in Singapore have come to recognise Skoda as the smart choice when looking for a car to own."

Additionally, Skoda is also able to cater to different customer segments in Singapore. If you want a compact runabout vehicle, the Rapid Spaceback will certainly fulfill your needs.

If you want size, space and ample practicality, you have the choice of the Karoq compact SUV, or even the seven-seater Kodiaq. If you want comfort and luxury, you can choose the Octavia or the Superb. And of course, the Octavia RS245 will appeal to those looking for performance and agility.

The Superb excels with its good looks, luxurious cabin and comfortable ride
Highly satisfied buyers

However, having outstanding products is but half the battle won - these cars still need buyers. In this regard, the brand has also performed well.

In 2018, the total number of Skoda cars on our roads more than doubled from the previous year, with 717 cars compared to 351 in 2017. Of those cars, 452 were newly registered in 2018.

This number will only continue to grow, with 70 more cars already registered in 2019, according to LTA statistics. Driving this growth in sales figures is the elevation of the Skoda's brand desirability and value here in Singapore.

Mr. Ananthnarayan Suramaniam upgraded from a Kia Sportage to a Skoda Superb, and highlights that with the relatively low COE, he made the choice to pick a more reputable and premium car. Also, he says, "I like that the car is big and looks nice, as I have seen heads turn when I was stopped at traffic lights. The features of the car are also really good." Other Skoda owners have also commended the brand for the quality of the fit and finish in Skoda cars, as well as the impressive drive.

Part of the brand's appeal is the high-quality and well-equipped cabins across its lineup of cars
Ms. Ong Hui Pheng, who drives a Skoda Octavia, tells us, "While less common on the roads, Skoda is an affordable and value-for-money choice. I also like the spacious interior and boot space, as well as the very comfortable ride." It's clear, then, that new customers have been impressed by the quality and affordability of Skoda cars thus far.

Also, considering the shrinking COE quota and tightening restrictions moving forward, Mr. Ricky Tay believes that even more customers will be drawn to the Skoda brand.

"Singapore is a price sensitive market. As result, car buyers may scale back on certain luxuries and decide to go for a more practical car that can fit all their mobility needs. In this sense, Skoda is very much the go-to option, with our innovative products and value-for-money proposition," he says.

"Also, as the principal and retailer in Singapore, we are able to react to market changes by tweaking our product offering in terms of variants and engine sizes to ensure we continue to offer the excellent price-performance ratio."

Skoda will continue to improve its aftersales service to enhance the customer's car ownership experience
A look into the future

What, then, can we expect from Skoda in 2019 and beyond?  The next major milestone for the Skoda brand will be the launch of the new Scala, which represents the new stage in the evolution of the Skoda design language.

More importantly, Skoda understands that car ownership still remains an important part of many people's life, and will focus on enhancing the customer's ownership experience.

Skoda Singapore will invest in improving the quality and efficiency of its service, workflow and processes. The brand is clear that car buyers require more than just a quality product to buy. The entirety of the car ownership experience needs to be taken care of.

Mr. Ricky Tay is confident that Skoda is well-poised to deliver a holistic ownership experience for customers
"As we move forward, we will continue to assess and pay close attention to our customers and their needs, and to implement customised mobility solutions. Here is where our business model gives us a unique advantage as we are also the principal for the brand," Mr. Tay says.

"This year, we will roll out a lifestyle app that will allow us to have an even more direct communication channel with our customers.

Owners will be able to book servicing appointments while on the move, access roadside assistance at the touch of a button, keep abreast of new car launches, and enjoy exclusive owners' privileges, ensuring that Skoda customers get to enjoy a holistic ownership experience," he adds.

In its first year back, it's clear that Skoda has managed to strike a keen balance between quality and affordability, delivering customers the exact products that they want. As the brand enters its second year, we should only expect things to get even better.

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