PRAGUE — Skoda expects to build and deliver more cars in 2023 than in 2022 when its global sales fell 17 percent to 731,300 vehicles.
This should be helped in part by Skoda’s upcoming entry into the Vietnamese market, where it will start selling imported Kodiaq and Karoq cars in the second quarter before assembling cars locally in 2024.
Skoda initially expects to sell about 30,000 cars annually in Vietnam, sales boss Martin Jahn said in a statement.
Skoda said in October that it will partner Thanh Cong Motor Vietnam to build its India models, the Kushaq and Slavia, in Vietnam from completely knocked down kits starting next year. This year it plans to export European models to Vietnam.
Skoda is looking a new international markets as it enters the final stages of quitting Russia after taking an almost 700-million-euro ($742 million) hit from the impact of Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
The Volkswagen Group unit has seen its Russian operation hit hard by the disruptions caused by the war and by Western sanctions imposed on Russia.
Skoda said on Thursday its net profit dropped 12 percent to 489 million euros in 2022, affected also by a steep rise in material prices and global supply-chain bottlenecks.
Skoda’s deliveries in Russia plummeted to 18,300 cars in 2022 from 90,400 in 2021, when the country was the brand’s second-largest market.
“The talks (on the sale) are in the final stages, but I cannot give you details until they are agreed by all parties,” CEO Klaus Zellmer told Skoda’s annual press conference on Thursday.
Skoda aimed to replace lost Russian production at its other plants around the globe, he said.