Skoda Australia anticipates far healthier stock levels from the start of 2023, with a “full normalisation” of supply from its European plants expected by mid-next-year.

    As such, the Czech brand’s local arm is forecasting an all-time record since the brand launched here in its present incarnation in 2007 – a combination of delivering on existing orders, and growing its customer base.

    While Skoda management would not confirm its internal sales target on the record, company sources told us around 12,000 units for calendar year 2023 was the aim. The brand’s best year so far in Australia was 2021, when it recorded 9185 sales.

    The predicted bumper 2023 tally will naturally comprise many buyers who’ve ordered their new Skoda this year, but cannot get delivery until next, due to ongoing crippling supply issues.

    While all brands in Australia are battling lack of stock to greater or lesser degrees, the Volkswagen Group brands are consistently among the hardest-hit – largely a result attributed to semiconductor shortages and a lack of wiring harness due to the War on Ukraine.

    Skoda Australia sales are down 41.8 per cent this year in an overall new car market that’s only down 4.5 per cent.

    We spoke this week with Skoda Australia brand director Michael Irmer, who’s nearing a decade with the brand here, about when supply relief will be forthcoming, and when buyer wait times will be brought under more control.

    “The most accurate answer is, we’re expecting relief going forwards, visible in deliveries from January onwards. We know what’s being produced now, the numbers are going up, but the cars will travel about three months until they’re in dealers,” Mr Irmer said.

    “From January onwards we see significant improvement in the numbers.”

    When asked whether the company would be able to fully satisfy demand even with improved supply, Mr Irmer said it was “hard to gauge, because the market overall is under-supplied and you tend to think you could bring in tenfold as many cars [as you have]”.

    “But we know we’re going to see a significant improvement, and full normalisation around the middle of next year. That’s the best prognosis I can make on this at the moment.

    “… Our strong belief is that we’re going to next year see an all-time record,” he finished.

    Skoda this week launched its updated Karoq mid-sized SUV and launched the new-generation Fabia in flagship Monte Carlo guise. It launched a refreshed Kodiaq seven-seater in March this year.

    The company this week reiterated its goal to begin taking orders on its first EV, the Enyaq iV, in the third-quarter of next year, with deliveries to begin in early 2024.

    “… All the dealers, especially the city dealers, are asking for ‘electric, electric, electric, electric’, saying they can’t wait to have the car, quite frankly,” Mr Irmer told us.

    As a matter of fact, a small number of people have already sought to place deposits to secure a build slot.

    While Skoda is perceived by some as a cut-price European competitor, its average transaction price has climbed to $52,000 drive-away, meaning it actually attracts a more well-heeled local buyership. That bodes well for its EV rollout.

    The Skoda Enyaq iV will be an important part of the wider EV puzzle for Volkswagen Group Australia, which currently has an electric range limited to the Audi e-tron and e-tron GT, and Cupra Born.

    The related VW ID.4/5 models should land at a similar time to the Skoda Enyaq iV – creating an intriguing intra-company battle, not that it would ever admit to as much.

    Skoda Australia annual sales over the past decade

    • 2022 (Jan-July only): 3758
    • 2021: 9185
    • 2020: 6607
    • 2019: 7001
    • 2018: 5807
    • 2017: 5350
    • 2016: 4760
    • 2015: 4750
    • 2014: 3853
    • 2013: 3555

    MORE: Skoda landing page

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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