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New models to power 50% Skoda sales rise

Date: 09 January 2008   |   Author: Tristan Young

A host of new models will arrive in the next two years with the goal of boosting Skoda's UK sales to 58,000 a year by 2010, up from 41,000 last year.

The VW-owned firm will kick off 2008 with an all-new Fabia estate (pictured) aimed at taking sales from lower medium sector hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus and Peugeot 308.

Speaking exclusively to BusinessCar, Skoda's business development manager Andy Thomas said: "Competitors will be the Peugeot 207 SW and the Clio estate, but also hatchbacks from the size above - including the Focus and 308.

"The market for higher-spec and higher-price versions has risen. The Fabia estate won't have the Roomster's flexible seating arrangement; it's more about moving stuff than people. The boot size is up 54 litres on the previous version to 480 litres [the same as a new Audi A4 saloon]."

Thomas also revealed 2008 would see the introduction of a Sport variant of the Fabia hatchback, which precedes the next Fabia vRS hot hatch.

He also added Skoda would move to five core models by 2010. The company currently has four - Fabia, Roomster, Octavia and Superb. The fifth, a small 4x4 called Yeti, is due by the end of 2009, after the launch of an new Superb.

The new Superb is expected to be revealed at the Geneva motor show in March with production starting at the end of this year. Senior Skoda executives have hinted there will also be an estate version of the new model.