New Skoda SUV laid

bare

Skoda SUV prototype, 2016, front
Skoda SUV prototype, 2016, side
Matthias Muller,VW CEO, Skoda Volkswagen 25th anniversary
Skoda Volkswagen 25th anniversary

SKODA'S new seven seat SUV has broken cover in a fleeting appearance before a VIP audience at the company's headquarters in the Czech Republic.

The new model, likely to called the Kodiak, appeared as the finale to the company's celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of its partnership with the Volkswagen Group.

Dignitaries at the Silver Jubilee event included the Czech prime minister Bohaslav Sobotka, Skoda boss Bernhard Maier and VW's chief executive Matthias Muller.

Skoda and VW came together on April 16, 1991 as the Iron Curtain fell across Europe and since then the transformation of the 121-year-old auto firm has been remarkable.

The Czech car maker now has factories in China, India and Russia and for the past two years has sold more than a million models worldwide.

Back in 1991 Skoda in the UK sold just 8,000 vehicles in the whole year - last month alone its British sales were more than 12,000.

The new SUV is due early next year and the prototype seen at the anniversary event in Mlada Boleslav was heavily camouflaged.

The car, codenamed A-Plus SUV, follows on from Skoda's Vision-S concept model seen at this year's Geneva Motor Show and is based on the VW Group's MQB multi-model platform.

Volkswagen has already announced that the platform will be used on a number of new SUVs including the new VW Tiguan and other models from Audi and SEAT.

The Skoda SUV is larger than the Tiguan and in terms of size it will sit between the new VW SUV and the Touareg.

Its introduction will see the Skoda range grow to seven models in the UK where it will be available in both five and seven seat configurations.

During the event Mr Muller said that Skoda would play a key role in the Volkswagen Group's shift to electric vehicles and self-driving technology.

"The future is electric. It will be autonomous with cars reacting by gesture (control)," said Mr Muller.

Skoda's growth since 1991 has seen it become a key player in the Czech economy, employing some 27,000 people and accounting for almost five per cent of the nation's £125 billion a year GDP.

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