SHANGHAI (AP) _ Czech automaker Skoda said Wednesday it plans to
expand production in China to three model ranges from the currently
planned one, in a bid to build market share in the fast-growing
The company, a unit of Germany's Volkswagen AG, said in a release
that production of the Octavia will begin next year, with the Favia
and Superb model ranges to follow.
The broadened product line will ``reinforce the expansion of the
brand Skoda to the Chinese market,'' the company said.
All three models will be made at Volkswagen's sprawling Shanghai
joint-venture plant, where a team from Skoda is already on site
readying for production, Skoda said. All vehicles made there are
intended for the Chinese domestic market, it said.
The move ``shows we see China as one of the strategic markets for
the brand's future growth,'' Skoda Auto AS chairman Detlef Wittig
was quoted as saying.
Skoda's growth strategy also includes assembly and other
manufacturing projects in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia, Bosnia, and
In China, the company is entering a fast-growing but increasingly
competitive auto market which is about to pass Japan as the world's
General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM), was the top foreign automaker in
China last year, with 11 per cent of the market and 665,390 units
sold, followed by Volkswagen.