Skoda is to steer clear of smaller electrified models for the foreseeable future, after a senior executive confirmed the axing of the Citigo-e iV and insisted there are no current plans for plug-in versions of any model smaller than the Octavia.
The Czech brand has just launched its first bespoke electric vehicle, the Enyaq, based on the VW Group’s MEB platform. But last year it also revealed the Citigo-e iV, an all-electric conversion of its regular city car, and sister vehicle to the VW e-up! and SEAT Mii Electric. But while those models remain on sale, Skoda’s version of the car has now been discontinued after all of the manufacturer’s allocation of vehicles was snapped up – including around 400 examples in the UK.
Skoda’s sales & marketing boss Alain Favey said, “The Citigo is as good as gone. We’ve sold all that we had to sell, and there will not be a replacement. We have no intention to have a car of this size in the future.”
Favey believes that the impending arrival of plug-in hybrid versions of the Octavia will allow Skoda to be better represented in markets with faster developing sales of electrified vehicles, or incentives to encourage demand. But despite several of Skoda’s key rivals offering pure-electric entries in the supermini class, Favey said that the firm would find it hard to justify even a plug-in hybrid version of the larger Scala family hatchback, which sits between the Fabia and Octavia in Skoda’s line-up.
“I don’t believe that plug-in is really a technology that’s suited to smaller cars,” he said, “but in the fleet market, responding to the different government incentives, I think the Octavia and Superb are exactly what we need. Scala is car where it’s already disputable if it’s a good idea to have a plug-in. Let’s be clear; the technology is still extremely expensive, so you need to have customer base with the buying power for the price of that technology. Or you accept that you’re going to lose money, which is not an option for us. We’re not interested in going into smaller segments with plug-in hybrids, knowing that nobody will be willing to pay the price for them.”
Skoda is likely to be playing a waiting game until the VW Group finalises its plans for MEB Entry, a new low-cost version of the platform that underpins the Enyaq. Favey said, “If one day there is a version of the MEB platform that allows smaller cars to be produced then we would have a Skoda version.”
Favey also confirmed that while he and Skoda’s R&D boss Christian Strube had “been fighting for” a plug-in hybrid vRS performance version of the Scala, the car will not make production. Originally revealed by Auto Express back in March 2019, the Scala vRS proposal was seen as significant because it would have forced the VW Group to introduce plug-in electrification on its smaller MQB A0 platform, which supports the Scala but also the likes of the VW T-Cross, SEAT Arona and Audi A1.
But Favey told us, “We presented a plug-in concept around the time of the launch of Scala, I remember. And I can confirm that I was part of the fight for this one, but it’s not going to happen.”
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