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What Octavia will bring to mid-size sedan market
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-06-20 09:10

By Li Tiezheng

Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd. (SVW), which failed to launch new automobile products for ages, held a ceremony for the launching of Skoda Octavia as a new type on June 6. All leaders of Volkswagen Group China and SVW were present at the ceremony together with several hundred dealers from all parts of China, and it can be said that there appeared an unprecedented grand occasion on the site. And reports of various media on the event intrigued strong responses.

Why did SVW drag in so many people to launch a product in the market? Insiders hit the mark with a single comment: the launching of Skoda Octavia in the market is likely to exert revolutionary impacts on the market for mid-grade cars. Reasons are as follows: firstly, it is the first time that cars produced by a joint venture in China to exceed the prototype vehicle produced abroad in terms of technology and configuration; secondly, German automotive brands that had been laying particular stress on the pursuit for technology finally realized that technology plus price are key to a victory in the Chinese market when having experienced the intensive competitions in the market for mid-grade cars in China.

In the past, joint ventures used to keep to a hidden rule when introducing the production of cars into China: just copy the prototype or even degrade some key configurations, and make efforts to make visible changes including minor changes in terms of shape and internal decorations. Such a fact made people doubtful about joint ventures' capability to conduct secondary research and development. Nevertheless, Skoda Octavia introduced by SVW in this round "is from Europe and more advanced than in Europe". With SVW's successful secondary research and development including getting Octavia cars equipped with the global leading Turbochanger Superchanger Injection gas motors, Tiptronic 6-speed automated-manual transmissions, Volkswagen's PQ35 platform and top manufacturing techniques with laser welding as the representative, Skoda Octavia become the first to exceed the prototype car launched simultaneously abroad in a real sense at the level in terms of technology, performance and quality. In other words, for the first time consumers in China can take the lead to enjoy using better products than those products of the same type and of the same brand in other countries and regions in the world.

Skoda is not a very influential major brand, and Octavia is only a type of A Level Cars; but all people experienced in driving a Skoda Octavia car are aware of such a perceive that Skoda Octavia is strongly dynamical and the driver can feel the driving force on the back like that in a high-grade car when starting out or overtaking other cars. Octavia cars are produced on Volkwagen's global leading PQ35 Platform, a platform on which such high-performance sport-utility vehicles as Audi S3 and Golf GTI can be produced. And the standard of Octavia's overall design is rare in the case of car types falling into the same level. Also, Octavia adopts a currently advanced suspension system with a McPherson Independent Suspension in the front and a four-link independent suspension in the rear, which has effectively improved the motility of the car and the comforts for driving and riding.

The 1.8 Turbochanger Superchanger Injection motors loaded on Octavia cars are rooted from Volkswagen's global leading TSI gasoline direct injection engines, which has overthrown the traditional fuel injection pattern for gasoline motors and is likely to have the engines' dynamic performance and fuel economy greatly improved. TSI gasoline direct injection engines that have won international prizes for motors in succession since coming out represent the motor technology that is globally leading at present.

Over years, SVW has been loyal to the principle of pricing on basis of technology. Certain insiders believe that no matter what Skoda Octavia's marketing prospects will be in the future, its competitive cost performance is sure to bring impacts to the market for mid-grade cars. 
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