America contains a lot of car manufacturers within its borders, some of those brands like Ford and Chrysler are linked to the rest of the world in a big way.
But cross over to Europe and some of the most well-known and successful automakers reside there, Peugeot, Citroën and Renault in France, Aston Martin, Lotus and TVR originally from the UK, Mercedes and BMW from Germany and… Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen and Audi.
Those last car manufacturers are from Spain, Czech Republic and Germany; but in reality they’re all under one roof: the Volkswagen Group.
Will Skoda Bring Interesting And Stylish Cars To The US?
As most people already know, brands like Seat from Spain and Skoda from Czech Republic use German engines and drive trains, electronics and technology from the more prestigious brands like Audi and VW.
Skoda, at the bottom of the corporate tier in the VW group, has gained popularity for its cheaper entry price into good-looking and capable cars with German technology, so you would think that with Volkswagen suffering a reputational slump following Dieselgate; that brands like Skoda could step in to entice US buyers with its fresh face and new model lineup?
After all, for one thing, Skoda’s vRS line of Octavias has its own place in the sports car hall of fame for a good reason.
Launched in 1996, the Octavia – essentially a VW Passat or Jetta – was a success, but luckily they turned this cheap, German-engineered sedan into something more interesting: the vRS.
With 180 hp it was quick enough for its time and more powerful models would follow; including those with four-wheel drive.
So, with German design and European flair, the Skoda cars should be destined to succeed.
But perhaps the same thing that brought an end to Peugeot, Renault or Citroën in North America is the very writing on the wall that European carmakers have heeded ever since.
In The End, Skoda Will Not Be Coming Over The Atlantic
With no dealer network, no reputation and a model lineup that would need tweaking to legally and culturally work in the US – plus VWs own presence there already – there is no real pull for Skoda there; the same could be said of Seat.
As Skoda is destined to be a relevant player in Russia, India, Africa and parts of Asia, Latin America and the Pacific, it basically has its hands full too.
Skoda’s Enyaq, Octavia, Fabia, and more are not just re-skinned Volkswagen products, they have their own inherent identity, style, and some people have developed brand loyalty to these carmakers.
You can maybe understand it this way: you might like a Volkswagen Golf, but it’s just too bland, Seat’s Leon arguably offers most of the Golf’s tech in a package much more attractive to a younger demographic.
Just imagine how successful Citroën, Peugeot or Renault might have been in the US with the same Gallic flair accompanied by German engineering.
One thing’s for sure; Volkswagen will be staying in North America for the long haul – but diesel engines are not likely to return any time soon.