Skoda Relies on Octavia and Spaceback to Boost Sales in Europe image

VW’s Skoda relies on its new Octavia small car and Spaceback hatchback to increase sales in Europe this year.

Skoda said that it expects the first quarter and even the first half of the year to be weaker compared with the same period in 2012, due to the contraction of Skoda’s main European markets and also the transition to the new Octavia, according to CEO Winfried Vahland. Still, the automaker expects the second half to bring increased sale and growth is seen enabling full production capacity.

“As soon as the full volumes of the Octavia and the Spaceback will be available, the tide should continue to turn,” Vahland said.

In February, new car registrations in Europe dropped 10% to 829,359 units, also taking down the two-month figure with 9.3% to 1.75 million vehicles, according to ACEA. VW, Germany’s biggest automaker, is among the car makers which predict that annual earnings will continue to drop as Europe heads towards its sixth consecutive year of declines.

Skoda said it is still on track to fulfill its 2018 target to 1.5 million vehicles sold annually. The automaker plans to introduce this year 8 new or refurbished models and completely revamp its portfolio by 2015. Skoda will also add an SUV in the following years, larger than the current Yeti model.