The head of Skoda’s work council says new emissions regulations by the European Commission will be the death of the brand’s most affordable models.
Talking to the Skoda Trade Unionist magazine, Skoda works council chairman Jaroslav Povšík said the Euro 7 standards will make it prohibitively expensive to produce and homologate models like the Kamiq, Scala and Fabia.
The Euro 7 regulations proposed by the European Commission are set to be enforced from July 1, 2025 for new cars and light commercial vehicles and are intended to cut nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 35 per cent and lower tailpipe particulates by 13 per cent compared to the previous Euro 6 regulations.
Povšík also said that the standards will impact the production of other components including tyres, brakes, and air-conditioning fluid.
The Euro 7 standards, which will be applied to both petrol and diesel vehicles equally, will apply to brakes, tyres, and exhausts and will be enforced by emissions-monitoring sensors to be fitted in new models.
As reported by Czech media outlet tyden.cz, the Euro 7 standards would raise the price of Skoda’s small city cars to a starting price that the brand says is ‘unsaleable’ and ‘unacceptable for customers’.
Skoda intends to push back against the regulations, with Mr Povšík saying he will join the chairman of the Volkswagen works council, Daniela Cavallo, to lobby the European Commission in April.
According to the Czech outlet, Skoda believes that the Euro 7 standards will not provide manufacturers sufficient time to implement the appropriate standards in the production process and that the additional investment required to adhere to the regulations would be better spent on EV development to move away from combustion engines entirely.
In 2022, Škoda delivered 96,300 Kamiqs, 39,500 Scalas and 92,700 Fabias, which accounted for 31 per cent of the brand’s total global sales.
Facelifted versions of the Scala and Kamiq are set to be revealed this year though local launch timing has yet to be confirmed.
Skoda is moving towards electrification, aiming to launch three new all-electric models by 2026.
It plans for over 70 per cent of its sales to be of all-electric models in Europe by 2030, but it will continue to make space in its product portfolio for ‘highly efficient combustion engines”.
The brand confirmed early last year it intended to launch its electric Enyaq iV but wouldn’t start taking orders until the second half of 2023. That points to an early 2024 launch.
Locally, Skoda Australia is hoping for a record year in 2023 with a 12,000-unit aim for the local market.