It’s not just in Le Tour de France that you might be seeing more Skodas. Volkswagen's Czech brand, against the tide, has recorded a remarkable global sales resurgence – it’s up 20.1 percent year-to-date, with sales of 454,700 units compared to last year.
And, globally, it has just experienced the strongest June in its history with 81,300 sales.
Put this performance against the backdrop of a sluggish European economy, slumping consumer confidence, the real chance of a double-dip recession (and growing gloom over the increasing likelihood of debt default by both Greece and Ireland), and the results are even more impressive.
Although achieving double-digit growth in Western Europe – up 48.2 percent in Belgium, 38.8 percent in the Netherlands, up 18.7 percent Britain - the brand's strongest growth in percentage terms has been in Eastern Europe and China, India and Russia.
(While Europe has the so called PIIGS, the basket-cases of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, the BRIC economies - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are continuing to boom.)
In the booming Chinese market alone, Skoda has notched up 112,200 sales for the six months.
“Skoda is well on track and continues to hit the gas pedal. In the coming years, the brand will introduce a number of new models in the markets and significantly expand its model range,” Jorgen Stackmann, Skoda Sales and Marketing, said.
In Australia, Skoda also achieved a monthly record for June, with 238 sales (938 year-to-date), up 33 percent for the month and up 47 percent YTD.
The Octavia has the lion's share of sales (131) but the Superb is finally starting to move with 70 sales for the month, and up 116.9 percent YTD.