Originally Posted by swizzle
The problem for VWAG is that Skoda used to be their only OLDSmobile brand, but now so are VW and Seat. The generic boredom of VW/Skoda/Seat/Audi styling is very much phone-it-in.
Their main problem is the lack of clear strategy what to do with their brands.
VW was always aimed at conservative customers and in Europe it's treated as the closest to premium of any mainstream brand - so this is sorted quite well.
But Seat and Skoda is a real mess.
Skoda used to be a cheap brand from Central Europe, and despite great improvements there's still some of this image left. I know people who won't buy them, just because it's Skoda.
On one hand you have really nicely styled and great quality cars such as Superb and Kodiaq, on the other hand they still have Fabia on outdated platform and Rapid that is clearly a budget vehicle. Plus dealership and service experience might be poor sometimes.
Seat should be sporty and fun, but somehow it gets budget Toledo(rebadged Rapid) - and nobody knows why because it doesn't sell at all and only have negative influence on their image.
Ibiza is clearly superior to the Fabia, but until Terraco came out, they didn't have any offering in the upper segment, while Skoda has two. And now they're trying to rob Seat of it's main asset Cupra, which is beyond stupid. I don't think you'll find any current Cupra owner that is unhappy that their car has Seat badge on it. And losing Cupra won't help Seat image either.
Obviously styling of Set and Skoda is too close to one another, but everybody knows that so it's not worth to even start discussing it...
Originally Posted by mick78
I'm aware this should - in theory - target slightly below the C-segment (like a FIat TIpo in Europe), but realistically, given the ambitious pricing of VAG, the current car is priced well into the heartland of Focus, Kia ceed, Renault MEbgane or, given VW dealers are usually a bit more willing to negotiate than their Skoda friend, even a GOlf; And compared to any of those cars, the current Rapid doesn't even stand the slightest chance in any respect except probably rear legroom. And this will be no different. And even if it was cheaper, that should not be an excuse for these levels of dullness..
You are right - Rapid is nowhere near competitive, but somehow they manage to sell quite a lot of them. For private customers it doen't make any sense due to pricing, cause indeed you can get a much better car within VAG itself when discounts are in the mix, but at least in Central Europe Skoda is fleet queen and they really shift a lot of volume in this channel. And fleet discounts at Skoda are a completely different story.