Skoda Australia has announced it’s axing the entry-level version of its Superb liftback and wagon from the fourth quarter of this year.
A Skoda Australia spokesperson said there are still examples of the Superb 162TSI Style available at dealers and to be ordered but shipments will end before the fourth quarter of 2023.
This means the flagship Superb 206TSI Sportline will be the only variant available in the local range moving forward.
The company says over 50 per cent of Superb buyers currently opt for the top-spec 206TSI Sportline.
The Superb 206TSI Sportline has become more popular with fleets, with organisations such as Western Australian Police using them as patrol cars. With the next Volkswagen Passat unconfirmed for Australia and the Chrysler 300 and Kia Stinger dead, there’s potential for more sales in this space.
This announcement follows recent remarks from Skoda Australia managing director Michael Irmer regarding the company prioritising more highly specified vehicles.
“There are other products and other brands which are for bargain hunters perfectly fine, but I think you need to decide what you stand for sometimes. You can’t be everything to everybody. Then you become nothing,” said Mr Irmer.
He said this changing strategy has been an evolution for the brand, and it didn’t just flip the switch overnight.
“This goes back to 2015, we analysed what is our most sold variant and we were actually surprised, we didn’t realise ourselves: the Octavia RS wagon with the packs was the most sold Skoda in Australia,” added Mr Irmer.
“When we launched [the current] Superb, we said let’s not drag it down with a bare-bones base with cloth seats, small wheels, that kind of thing. So we just make it a nice thing only.
“What we learned was it worked a treat, the entry went up $8000 on the previous entry, but the previous entry nobody was interested. It went also over and above Passat.
“One year before the end of the lifecycle, in the second last year, we do two-thirds to three-quarters 206TSIs. And the 206TSI has the packs standard, we don’t bother offering them as an option because everybody buys them anyway.”
The Superb will join the Fabia hatchback in only being offered locally in a top-spec guise.
As previously reported, the Czech carmaker is readying a next-generation version of the Superb that will be revealed later this year.
Mr Irmer recently said the new Superb may arrive locally around a year after its global debut. This means Australian customers will have to wait until the end of 2024 or early 2025 to have one in their driveways.
A Skoda Australia spokesperson said it’s too early to say what the next-generation Superb line-up will look like at this stage.
It wouldn’t be surprising, however, if Skoda Australia only offered it a single highly specified variant.
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