Discover the Return of Plug-In Hybrids: Skoda's Next Core Fleet Range

Skoda is undergoing a significant update to its model lineup in order to strengthen its position in the market.

The company plans to introduce all-new versions of the Kodiaq and Superb before the summer, as well as refreshed models of the Kamiq, Scala, and Octavia later this year.

One notable addition to the lineup is the Kodiaq, which will now be available with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) engine for the first time. This new variant will fall into the 8% benefit-in-kind tax bracket, just like the new Superb.

Furthermore, it is anticipated that the upcoming new Octavia will also feature a new PHEV powertrain. It is worth mentioning that Skoda faced supply constraints last year, which led to the withdrawal of its previous PHEV models from the market.

Despite this setback, the company managed to deliver over 3,500 PHEVs in 2023, highlighting the strong demand for this type of powertrain.

The return of plug-in hybrids

Nick O’Neill, head of direct sales at Skoda, highlighted the opportunity of plug-in hybrids returning by saying: “The Kodiaq plug-in hybrid opens up a really big opportunity for us in fleet. It’s a car that’s always done well for us but with 8% BiK and all the additional spec that we're getting on that car, we think that's going to have significant curb appeal.”

Skoda's latest models, in contrast to the previous PHEVs, are driven by a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a significantly larger battery. These vehicles will have the ability to cover approximately 60 miles solely on electric power, emitting zero emissions. Additionally, they are equipped with a 50kW rapid charging feature.

The Superb is scheduled to be available for purchase in the upcoming months, while the Kodiaq is set to arrive around the same time. Despite its less competitive BIK proposition, the Kodiaq has proven to be a successful fleet performer for the brand.

O'Neil anticipates that the introduction of the new PHEV version will attract a larger user chooser audience. Similarly, the Superb has also undergone an upmarket transformation while maintaining a significantly lower price point compared to its premium-badged competitors.

O’Neill declared: “The Superb continues to be one of our flagship cars. It does a multitude of jobs for us, whether it is people who want to drive it because it looks and feels like an executive model, or within the job needs segment. We also sell a lot into engineering firms and it’s a car that does well in the public sector, particularly within blue light.”

Skoda emerged as the eighth largest brand in terms of true fleet sales volume in 2023. With a remarkable market share, the brand successfully sold a total of 70,000 cars in the UK throughout the year. Among its lineup, the Karoq stood out as the most favored model, while the Octavia garnered the highest number of fleet registrations.

Furthermore, the electric Enyaq proved to be a popular choice in the fleet market, securing the second spot in terms of sales. Notably, this model now boasts an upgraded powertrain, offering an extended range and improved acceleration for an enhanced driving experience.

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Skoda has adopted a focused approach towards its fleet communications and marketing strategy, resulting in an increase in business-to-business volume, as stated by O'Neill.

“I think that the business customers respond really positively to us demonstrating that we understand the needs of their specific of their specific sector,” he highlighted.

O'Neill stated that despite entering 2023 with substantial order banks, the possibility of experiencing additional volume growth this year seems unlikely. However, he anticipates that Skoda's market share will expand by 2025, particularly with the introduction of the brand's new Elroq electric compact SUV. This newcomer will be priced lower than the Enyaq, thereby making it accessible to a wider range of customers.