The Volkswagen Group’s best-seller last year in Europe was the Golf. However, another, humbler entry into the segment, the Skoda Octavia, was also very popular with European buyers.
The Octavia held the first spot in four European countries in 2018, namely the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland and Switzerland, reports AutoNews, quoting JatoDynamics’ data. At the same time, the Golf topped the sales charts in five countries, whereas the Renault Clio won first place in three.
Skoda’s popular compact car, which is sold with front- and all-wheel drive, and with a choice of petrol, diesel and CNG (compressed natural gas) engines, was the second best-seller in Finland, Slovakia and Hungary. Moreover, it was in the top 10 in eight other countries, including Germany.
Overall demand in Europe for the Octavia dropped by 3.6 percent. Nonetheless, it remained the brand’s best-seller and did remarkably well, given that the third generation entered production at the end of 2012, was given a facelift two years ago and its successor isn’t that far away. In fact, it did so well that Skoda built more than 2.5 million units of the Mk3, most of them in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic. The Octavia is also being assembled in Russia, Kazakhstan, India, China and Algeria.
Analysts believe that the Octavia is still successful due to its pricing and practicality. It costs about the same or even less than other compact cars, but it’s the biggest in the segment, offering a boot space that’s comparable to larger vehicles.
Skoda launched the first Octavia in January of 1959. Its name means ‘eighth’ in Latin and signifies the brand’s eighth model launched since WW2, and also the eighth featuring the independent suspension introduced by the automaker in 1933. Almost two years after the introduction of the first two-door Octavia, it was joined by the Combi, a wagon with a two-piece, horizontally split tailgate. This model had a trunk capacity of up to 1,050 liters (37 cu-ft) with the rear seats folded down. The coupe was produced until April 1964, when the rear-engine 1000/1100 MB came out. The Combi was made until late 1971.
As for the modern Octavia, it entered production in 1996 and was sold alongside its successor, the Mk2, until 2010.