Skoda has been given full technical control of Volkswagen Group’s entry-level MQB-A0 platform – the first time it has had responsibility for a cross-brand architecture.
It follows the Czech manufacturer's development of the specialised MQB-A0-IN platform for the Indian market, where series production of the Skoda Kushaq compact SUV began in June. This will form the basis of other Skoda and Volkswagen products in the future, with a second model due to be revealed later this year.
Giving Skoda control of MQB-A0 is a significant step in Wolfsburg's plan to use the Czech firm as its lead brand in emerging markets, namely Russia, Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.
The Volkswagen Group points to independent market studies that suggest deliveries of ICE vehicles will rise by 58% to 7.5 million in these territories over the next 10 years, with a further million expected to be sold in the five-year period thereafter.
Skoda’s experience in entry-level segments will be used to target new models in those growth markets.
“By assuming responsibility for the MQB-A0 global platform, Skoda Auto is in charge of the worldwide development of a platform for the first time,” said Skoda CEO Thomas Schäfer.
“We're applying our development expertise, taking on even more responsibility within the Volkswagen Group and at the same time strengthening Skoda Auto's headquarters as an important European development centre for the Group.
“I'm convinced that we will be able to win over many new customers thanks to the MQB-A0 global platform and bolster the Group’s position in the entry-level segments.”
Ralf Brandstätter, chairman of the Volkswagen board of management, added: “Through our comprehensive platform strategy, we achieve economies of scale that enable us to offer our customers worldwide state-of-the-art technology and high quality at competitive prices. Based on this, the Group’s volume brands – Volkswagen and Skoda – can quickly deliver products to customers that are unique in the volume segment.
“As a brand with significant expertise in entry-level mobility, Skoda is ideally positioned to assume worldwide responsibility for the successful further development of the MQB-A0 global platform within the Volkswagen Group. This way we're creating synergies that will further increase profitability within the volume group.”