Skoda In America? There Are Worse Ideas

A Skoda Yeti, which is way the hell cooler than a Volkswagen Tiguan
A Skoda Yeti, which is way the hell cooler than a Volkswagen Tiguan

All the cool kids know that the best brand in the entire Volkswagen Group isn’t Bugatti, or Lamborghini, or Porsche, or those diesel-stained jackwagons at Volkswagen. No, it’s Skoda, the Czech subsidiary that makes surprisingly great cars like the Superb at shockingly budget-minded prices. But could Skoda make it in the U.S.?


That’s apparently what’s being considered at the mothership, according to Automotive News Europe, emphasis mine here:

A Skoda spokesman said the Czech value brand is examining the potential of markets where it is not yet present. “That includes North America,” the spokesman told Automotive News Europe. No decision has been taken, he said.

Skoda has filed several trademarks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the spokesman said. Media reports earlier this month said the brand has filed to protect in the U.S. the names of the Superb sedan, Octavia hatchback and Yeti small SUV.

That first sentence is the kicker here, because of course a fast-growing brand like Skoda would at least conduct studies on where it could expand to next. That makes sense for any business. And as that story notes, while Skoda is doing well in Europe and China, the car market shitstorm in Russia has left the brand in need of new options.

Then of course there’s the question of whether Skoda would even be successful in the U.S. if it expanded here. Much of its lineup basically consists of discounted, de-contented Volkswagens, and Americans are hardly racing to their VW dealers at the moment.

Even with the small Yeti and upcoming larger Kodiaq SUVs, this isn’t a brand that has a ton of cars that Americans want. Plus, there’s the total lack of name recognition or even a quirky image like Fiat has (and that’s not helping that brand much either.)

One analyst suggests the Volkswagen brand could bow out of the U.S. in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal and replace its lineup here with Skoda; that seems highly unlikely, and far more risky than just sticking it out.


So as much as I want to see Octavia RS wagons running around America—or to at least have the option of buying an automobile called a Yeti, as I currently lack—this one seems a bit too far-fetched to be legit.

Prove me wrong, Skoda!

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.


That would be Superb.