Czech Up: Skoda plans its own VW Up! derivative

The Skoda Fabia (not sold in America) is pretty small. It's based on the Volkswagen Polo platform (also not sold in America). But Skoda chairman Reinhard Jung wants an even smaller car based on the upcoming production version of the VW up! concept, and that also won't be sold here in all likelihood. Where it will, however, is in Russia, India and China.

These rapidly growing markets where Western automakers have been undertaking an equally rapid expansion via joint ventures with local companies are where Skoda wants to expand production. Currently the Czech subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group produces about 60,000 vehicles each year between the three enormous countries, which it plans to double to 120,000 units annually over the course of 2008. But by 2010, Skoda is targeting annual production of 350,000 in those markets.

Volkswagen has shown several concepts that preview a small car range, including the original two-door Up! in Frankfurt, the Space Up! van in Tokyo, and the Space Up! Blue in Los Angeles. Earlier reports suggested that the van derivative could make it to the US market, while Skoda as well as SEAT derivatives will be manufactured around the world for global sale.

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