Images of Skoda’s Yeti mini SUV, believed to be from a production application for the year 2011 prepared by Shanghai Volkswagen, have been disclosed on several Chinese auto web sites. They provide convincing proof that Yeti will be the fourth Skoda model to have Chinese-made versions.
In Europe Yeti shares platform with VW’s Tiguan, which started rolling off the Chinese production line earlier this year and proved to be an instant success. Like some other models from Europe, the Chinese-made Tiguan has an extended wheelbase, since rich Chinese prefer bigger and roomier cars. The original 2578 mm wheelbase is stretched by 100 mm.
Some thought when made in China Yeti would undergo the same operation. But if the spyshots really represent what will happen, Yeti’s original, European dimensions will be preserved. Also, in light of the existing engine lineup of Skoda cars in China, many believe the diesel and 1.2TSI gasoline versions will be dropped, and new, 1.4TSI and 2.0TSI models may be added to the 1.8TSI.
Skoda, the Czech automaker which is now a subsidiary of VW, launched production in China in 2006. Currently it makes three models there: supermini car Fabia, small family sedan Octavia, and large family sedan Superb. The three models sold 123,000 units in total last year, more than doubled from 2008. Skoda now accounts for about 1/6 of Shanghai VW sales.