Skoda expects 15,000 sales for Superb plug-in hybrid
Skoda expects annual sales of 15,000 units for the Superb plug-in hybrid. Key markets for the midsize model will be Germany,the UK, Sweden and the Czech Republic
Skoda has just started production of the Superb plug-in variant at its factory in Kvasiny, Czech Republic.
The 15,000 figure represents 20 percent of total Superb production, the head of assembly at Kvasiny, Jiri Pacak, said at the production launch of the car.
The production start is a milestone as important to the company as its founding or its purchase by the Volkswagen Group, Marek Jancak, Skoda’s head of global production, told journalists at the event.
Skoda is embarking on an ambitious program of electrification that will see it introduce 10 electrified vehicles by 2022, including the introduction this year of the electric version of the Citigo minicar and the start of production next year of an SUV based on the VW Group’s electric MEB platform.
The SUV was previewed by the Vision IV concept shown earlier this year.
The Superb plug-in uses a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine mated to an electric motor to give a combined power output of 218 hp.
The 13 kilowatt-hour battery is big enough to give a range of 55 km (34 miles) as measured on Europe’s WLTP cycle. The hybrid drivetrain reduces emissions to below 40 g/km, Skoda has said. The automaker has yet to release exact official figures.
The battery pack is produced in Skoda’s Mlada Boleslav plant and is identical to the battery in the VW Passat plug-in hybrid.
The Superb plug-in is available in hatchback and station wagon derivatives and is priced from 876,900 koruna (33,862 euros) in its Czech home market. No euro price has been given yet, but Skoda says the price in Germany will average out at 41,000 euros.
A six-speed DSG automatic gearbox is standard, as is a year’s subscription to the Skoda Connect app, which allows remote heating and cooling of the car.
Sales of 15,000 a year would have been enough to push the Superb plug-in to second place in the plug-in hybrid charts in Europe for 2018, behind the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in, which came top with sales of 24,038, followed by the Volvo XC60 plug-in, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
Plug-in hybrid sales are likely to see a big increase as automakers push more electrified cars into the European market in a bid to avoid fines under the new EU system which mandates they must reduce average CO2 levels to below 95 grams per km.
Analyst firm LMC Automotive predicts plug-in hybrid sales will reach 590,000 in Europe in 2020, compared with 220,000 forecast this year and 157,000 in 2018.
Skoda said it could increase production of the Superb plug-in to 25,000 a year by adding more stations in a plug-in finishing hall area of the assembly shop at Kvasiny. This is at the end of line building the regular Superb, the plug-in and the Kodiaq SUV.
This additional area that was built for the new model employs an extra 40 workers to complete assembly of some of the electric components, as well as adding coolant for the battery.
Skoda currently has three stations in the new finishing hall handling 60 cars a day but could add another two stations if demand outstripped current capacity, boosting annual production to 25,000.