Why no love for Skoda?

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL -

I’M per­plexed that the Skoda brand hasn’t taken off in Cairns.

The Trin­ity Auto Group has re­lin­quished the fran­chise and it’s now be­ing ser­viced by Mo­toco, which also has sis­ter brand, Audi. Skoda is be­lieved to be look­ing for an­other dealer.

Skoda is part of the Volk­swa­gen group and makes some very good cars.

But for some odd rea­son buy­ers in the Far North are shy­ing away.

In re­al­ity they are based on Volk­swa­gens and tend to be slightly cheaper.

I’ve been im­pressed with the roomy Skoda Su­perb, the Oc­tavia and the Fabia RS in drives over the past few years.

When in New Zealand re­cently I no­ticed quite a few on the roads, mainly in up­mar­ket sub­urbs and towns.

While I re­main sus­pi­cious of slo­gans, Skoda’s “Sim­ply Clever” tagline is, well, clever, sim­ple and ap­pro­pri­ate.

Take the lat­est Oc­tavia. Some se­ri­ous thought has gone into the pack­ag­ing of the car and clever touches are dot­ted through­out the cabin.

There’s the ticket holder on the wind­screen, the um­brella un­der the pas­sen­ger’s seat, the waste pa­per bin in the door pocket and the chilled, il­lu­mi­nated glove­box. It’s the boot, though, that re­ally im­presses.

There’s net­ting to stop the gro­ceries mov­ing about, a re­mov­able LED torch for hunt­ing around for things in the dark and dou­ble-sided mats that can be flipped from car­pet to water­proof rub­ber de­pend­ing on what’s re­quired.

The pick of the bunch are the vel­cro-bot­tomed place hold­ers that can se­cure a case of beer in an empty load area. Ge­nius.

Na­tional sales are up so far this year by 2.7 per cent with Oc­tavia the best­seller.

New re­leases on the way are the Ko­diaq SUV seven seater at a com­pet­i­tive $42,990 plus on road costs, the high per­for­mance Oc­tavia RS245 and the face-lifted Oc­tavia range. A small SUV is in the wings.

Early this year Skoda Aus­tralia boosted its stan­dard war­ranty pe­riod from three years to five across its en­tire pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle range with no ex­tra cost to cus­tomers.

Pri­vate buy­ers now get un­lim­ited kilo­me­tres on their new model war­ranty, while com­mer­cial users are as­sured up to 150,000km over the half decade time pe­riod with the prom­ise of gen­uine parts..

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