Škoda Auto looks to develop SUV, compact limo

German-owned Škoda Auto’s head of international sales says an SUV model and compact limousine could be on the cards

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After going half way with the Yeti, Škoda Auto’s head of global sales says the Czech Republic’s biggest car maker is looking at the possibility of launching a sport utility vehicle (SUV) targeted at the worldwide market.

“We are really examining the possibility of having an SUV that would be bigger than the Yeti and which would have a place on the market,” head of international sales J?rgen Stackmann said in an interview with the Czech business daily Hospodářské noviny. He noted that sales of the four by four Yeti had exceeded all expectations.

Stackmann also said the Czech car maker, which is part of German-based Volkswagen Group, is looking into the possibility of a new compact limousine which would be somewhere in between the size of its current small family car, the Fabia, and its standard estate, the Octavia.

That sort of model would get back to the basic Octavia concept of a model with strong demand and an attractive price-value relationship, he said. “I think this could help us a lot on markets in Central and Eastern Europe and especially on all of those growing markets around the world,” Stackmann said.

The Škoda sales boss was however less upbeat about a follow on for the Roomster multi purpose vehicle, saying that it was not a model for the global market and its best years were behind it. A sports car could also better be left to other group manufacturers, such as Audi, Seat or Volkswagen, he said.

Škoda Auto announced a 10.2 percent rise in sales for January compared with the same month in 2011. Sales in 2011 rose 15.3 percent to a record 879,200 vehicles. The company aims to almost double sales to around 1.5 million worldwide by 2018, partly with the help of a wider range of models.