The 10,000th Škoda; an Enyaq RS was delivered to a customer in the North East of the country, earlier in October. The brand has established itself as a firm favourite among Irish car buyers and rubber stamped its position as the fourth biggest car brand in the country. Whilst Škoda’s ambitions are for even greater success, its origin story is somewhat of a humble affair. The Škoda car brand arrived in Ireland in the 1970s. Vehicle sales were very limited as the Czech car company strove to get a foothold in an unfamiliar market. It was not until 1993, two years after Škoda became part of the Volkswagen Group, that it found an established home here. Distribution rights in Ireland were the responsibility of Eurato Limited, part of the parent company Motor Distributors Limited.
The Irish public were not overly familiar with the brand or indeed the Favorit or Forman models on offer at the time. Initially there were only 12 dealers and these dealers became affectionately known as the 12 apostles because they were the few believers! Just 76 units were delivered to customers in 1993.
Investments from the Volkswagen Group delivered new, improved models in the following years including the Felicia and the Octavia in 1997. The Octavia in particular was hugely successful in rural Ireland thanks to its highly competitive price point, efficient diesel engines, build quality and durability.
The Fabia supermini joined the fold in 1999. Meanwhile, the brand reached its first major milestone in 2000, when it exceeded 6,000 vehicle sales in what was then a record Irish car market.
Škoda Ireland experienced slow but steady growth over the next decade with acclaimed models such as the Superb, Roomster and Yeti and derivatives like the sporty Octavia RS. In 2007, responsibility for distribution of Škodas was transferred to Volkswagen Group Ireland where it has remained to this day.
The brand further strengthened its foothold in Ireland from 2010 with the introduction of the Citigo, Rapid and the Kodiaq. In 2017 Škoda surpassed the 9,000 vehicle sales milestone and was on the verge of breaking into the top-5 bestselling car brands.
The top five place came 2-years later in 2019 at the expense of Ford, however the 10,000 vehicle sales milestone remained elusive for another four years and was finally celebrated earlier this month (October) by the Škoda Ireland Team and their 27 dealer partners.
John Donegan, Škoda Ireland brand director has been with Škoda since 2010 and said “Customer Satisfaction has always been our number one focus at Škoda Ireland, however, it was important to couple this with simple sales objectives or milestones. One of our earliest targets was to overtake Opel which we achieved in 2015, followed in 2020, by breaking into the Top-5 car brands and exceeding 8% share of the car market. The 10,000 milestone was achieved in October. For this I would like to sincerely thank our colleague’s at Volkswagen Group Ireland, the Škoda Dealer Network, our factory partners at Škoda-Auto, Volkswagen Financial Services and above all our customers for their support and trust in Škoda. With the 10,000 milestone behind us we have now set our sights on a third place position in the Irish Car Market”