"We may be crazy, but we're not mad," affirmed a Volkswagen exec.One of Volkswagen's top executives has downplayed Czech Republic-based Škoda's ambitions to return to the United States after nearly half a century of absence."We may be crazy, but we're not mad," said a senior Volkswagen board member in an interview with Automobile Magazine. "Entering this huge market with an unknown brand, a model range focused on Europe, and a non-existent dealer network is pure suicide. Furthermore, the last thing Volkswagen of America needs now is in-house cannibalization," he added.
Rumors of Škoda's return to the United States first appeared last June when the company moved to protect the names Škoda Superb, Superb, Octavia, and Yeti. Companies routinely trademark nameplates even if they're not planning on using them, so many wrote off the reports as pure, unfounded speculation. For once, the trademark filings indicated the direction product planners were looking in.
In August, company boss Bernhard Maier told industry trade journal Automotive News Europe that Škoda was looking to expand into new markets, and he confirmed the U.S. was one of them. He affirmed a final decision wouldn't come until next year, but it sounds like the call has been made a few months ahead of time.
Note: Skoda Kodiaq pictured. Photos by Ronan Glon.