Škoda, Volkswagen’s Czech Republic-based automotive division, may be returning to the United States and Canada after leaving North America nearly 50-years ago.
Trademark filings for the names Škoda Superb, Superb, Octavia, and Yeti suggest the car maker is gearing up for a cross-Atlantic trip. Interestingly, this is the first time that any of these nameplates have been registered in the United States, even though the Octavia and the Superb have been sold in Europe for over a decade.
According to , Volkswagen’s troubled North American division is considering the idea of re-launching Škoda. The German automaker’s profits have fallen approximately 86 percent since the Dieselgate scandal made headlines in September 2015 and its reputation has taken a big hit.
Škoda, on the other hand, is virtually unknown to most American and Canadians, having sold a few thousand cars in the United States from 1946 to 1967, a whopping span of 21 years. Reintroducing the brand to North America will essentially be a fresh start for the Volkswagen Group.
It must be noted that companies from all around the world routinely file trademarks to protect their intellectual property and not necessarily to use them. Volkswagen and Škoda haven’t said anything on their filings, so only time will tell whether the Czech firm will once again be a player in the North American car market.
Skoda will Decide on US, Canada Return in 2017
Confirming earlier reports, Volkswagen’s Škoda division will decide on whether or not to return to the United States and Canada in 2017.
Company boss Bernhard Maier made the revelation in an with trade journal Automotive News, stating “During the next year, we want to have the question of North America decided for us.”
The Czech automaker currently sells cars in 102 countries but hopes to be present in 120 markets by 2025 in an effort to maintain its growth momentum. North America is just one of the many remaining markets that it could break into.
In fact, recent trademark filings suggest Škoda’s will indeed make an unexpected crossing of the Atlantic with possibly the Yeti crossover and Superb and Octavia sedans. Even more, company executives have admitted that the Kodiak SUV, which debuts at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, would do well in the United States.
Stay tuned for Skoda’s final decision on entering the U.S. and Canadian markets. If company executives give the go-ahead, expect to see Škoda-badged cars on the road in 2018 at the earliest.
‘Kodiaq’ Moment: Skoda Renames Alaskan Town After New SUV
The quiet town of Kodiak in Alaska has been the source of much marketing mirth recently, and that’s because has redubbed the name of the town ‘Kodiak’ to ‘Kodiaq’ in honour of their upcoming new 4×4.
The company’s marketing campaign was a resounding success, so much so that the mayor of the town signed off on the name without hesitation. The Alaskan town officially goes by the name ‘Kodiaq’ and no longer ‘Kodiak’.
The Name Game
The name ‘Kodiak’ refers to the Alaskan brown bear that is native to the area and appropriately matches the essence of the tough all-terrain SUV and the rugged, mountainous region in which the town resides.
Skoda claims the reasoning behind taking Kodiak and putting a ‘q’ at the end has to do with respecting the language, which is spoken by the ingenious people of Alaska, particularly those who call Kodiak Island their home. The names of animals in Alutiiq have traditionally ended with the letter ‘q’.
Skoda is in fact no stranger to naming its vehicles after wild creatures that live in harsh environments. Granted the Yeti isn’t actually real (or is it?), it’s a fitting name for the rugged Skoda SUV that has become one of the brand’s bread-and-butter model.
Czech out The New Skoda Kodiaq
The Skoda SUV, which was previewed by the Vision S concept that bowed at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, will premiere at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.
Although initially rumoured to have 7 seats, chances are it actually offers seating for six occupants, with a possible option for a third row of seats. The concept featured a petrol-electric hybrid 4 wheel drive powertrain that made use of 154bhp petrol engine, 54bhp electric motor, and a 12.4kWh lithium ion battery pack.
The Czech manufacturer claims the Vision S can accelerate from 0 to 62mph (100 km/h) in 7.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 124mph (200 km/h).
When can we get the Kodiaq?
The Skoda Kodiaq is expected to go on sale in early 2017 after making its world debut in Paris and will give Skoda yet another serious contender in the fast-growing SUV market.
Did the people of Kodiak do the right thing by changing the name of their little town to ‘Kodiaq’, and is it a good name for an SUV? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
SEAT, Skoda TDI Vehicles Also Involved in VW Dieselgate Scandal
If you thought Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” has reached its climax, you thought wrong. Of the 11 million or so vehicles affected by the rigged diesel engines, a sizable portion were made by Spanish automaker SEAT and Czech manufacturer Skoda.
To jolt your memory, engineers at the Volkswagen Group installed a software in the company’s 2.0L TDI engine that enabled cars equipped with it to cheat emissions tests in North America and Europe. According to , some 700,000 SEAT vehicles are involved in the scandal, while Skoda added 1.2 million units to the total.
- Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn Quits Amid Diesel Car Scandal
- Volkswagen Stops Diesel Car Sales in US Amid Emissions Controversy
The Volkswagen and Audi brands account for the bulk with 5 million and 2.1 million affected models, respectively.
Both SEAT and Skoda are divisions of the Volkswagen Group, which has fully admitted to cheating and is facing government prosecutions and several class actions lawsuits from angry customers.
It could cost the European automotive group — currently the biggest carmaker in the world — approximately €6.5 billion (~ $7.3 billion US) to fix all affected vehicles.