Posted 22nd March 2021
ŠKODA AUTO launched its SUV campaign in 2016 with the KODIAQ, laying the foundations for an impressive success story. The Czech brand's first large SUV garnered more than 40 international awards with its emotive design, exceptional spaciousness and outstanding value for money. The sporty RS variant even set a lap record for seven-seater SUVs on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife. In under five years, ŠKODA AUTO has produced 600,000 KODIAQs worldwide. As part of a comprehensive SUV campaign, more SUV models followed, and these now account for almost 40 per cent of ŠKODA’s total sales.
Martin Jahn, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Sales and Marketing, says: “The ŠKODA KODIAQ has enormous significance for our brand. Its presentation marked the start of our SUV campaign, which has gained us many new customers all over the world. Today, SUVs make up almost 40 per cent of our global sales. From the start, the KODIAQ has epitomised emotive design, exceptional spaciousness, superior driving comfort in all conditions and outstanding value for money. With these qualities, the KODIAQ will continue this success story in the future.”
Even before the KODIAQ’s actual premiere, ŠKODA AUTO organised a spectacular event to introduce its name. In spring 2016, the small town of Kodiak on Kodiak Island off the south coast of Alaska renamed itself KODIAQ for one day. A ‘Q’ at the end is characteristic of animal names in the language of the indigenous people, the Alutiiq. And so, the name of the largest brown bear in the world, the Kodiak bear, which only lives on the islands off the Alaskan coast, gave rise to the name ‘Kodiaq’ as per the word ending used by the indigenous people. The nomenclature with ‘K’ at the beginning and ‘Q’ at the end has subsequently been adopted for all ŠKODA SUVs.
Produced in four countries, available in 60 markets
Following the KODIAQ’s world premiere on 1 September 2016, ŠKODA started production at its Kvasiny plant in the Czech Republic in October 2016. The model’s market launch in spring 2017 marked a new era for the Czech brand, setting ŠKODA on its path to truly becoming a global player. In fewer than five years, ŠKODA AUTO has produced 600,000 KODIAQ vehicles, with plants in Russia, China and India complementing production in Kvasiny. ŠKODA’s large SUV is sold in 60 markets worldwide. The KODIAQ is particularly popular in China, where ŠKODA also offers the KODIAQ GT, a model variant exclusive to that market. The SUV coupé is specifically tailored to the preferences of Chinese customers. Following the KODIAQ, KAROQ, KAMIQ and the all-electric ENYAQ iV, the latest addition to ŠKODA's SUV family was the new KUSHAQ for the Indian market. SUVs accounted for almost 40 per cent of the brand’s total global sales in 2020.
A Nürburgring record and a Red Dot Award
In autumn 2018, ŠKODA presented the KODIAQ RS. It earned its place as the first SUV in the sporty RS family to set a new record in a high-profile drive on a track known as the “Green Hell”.
Powered by the most powerful series diesel engine in ŠKODA’s history, the KODIAQ RS set a lap record for a seven-seater SUV: 9:29.84 minutes on the 20.832-kilometre Nürburgring Nordschleife, the toughest racecourse in the world. The KODIAQ has also collected many accolades away from the racetrack. To date, the SUV has received more than 40 awards from journalists, experts, designers and readers of motoring magazines worldwide. Remarkably, the first award even came before the market launch. In November 2016, British Top Gear magazine declared the KODIAQ the world’s “Best Car for Big Families”. This was followed by ‘Car of the Year’ awards in the Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria and multiple ‘SUV of the Year’ accolades in various categories from British, Chinese, French and Indian media publications. Overall, the KODIAQ won four ‘All-Wheel Drive Car of the Year’ titles in Germany, its most important European market, as well as being crowned ‘Best Tested Import Vehicle’ in 2017. That same year, it also won a prestigious Red Dot Award for outstanding product design.