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Skoda making a comeback

Volkswagen subsidiary Skoda Auto announced Thursday that its 2005 net profits more than doubled to about $329 million, setting a new company record.
Unit sales were up 9-percent overall, to 492,111, driven by a 28.4 percent rise in sales of Skoda's Octavia sedan. Sales of its Fabia model fell in the face of intense competition in the European small car market segment, while sales of its Superb luxury model were essentially unchanged.

Skoda's chairman, Detlef Wittig, sketched out the future direction for the Czech automaker, saying, “The year 2006 will be marked by the Roomster [pictured], which will be introduced at the Geneva International Motor Show and gradually launched on individual markets from the middle of this year. In order to secure a continuous growth of the company in coming years, significant attention will be paid to further expanding and development of new foreign assemblies in Russia and China..." Wittig also pointed to successful implementation of VW's "ForMotion" cost-saving program as a contributor to the company's improved financial performance.

The small company is appears to rolling the dice with its unconventional Roomster, as vehicles of its ilk (Fiat Multipla, Citroen Berlingo, etc.) have met with mixed success. It will be interesting to see consumers' reaction to the production version at the Geneva Motor Show.

[Source: Skoda Auto]

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