SERIES PRODUCTION OF THE ŠKODA RAPID BEGINS
- ŠKODA launches the series production of the new Rapid in Mladá Boleslav
- 173 individual projects will be realised; numerous new facilities optimise the assembly line
- ŠKODA Rapid to celebrate its motor show premiere in Paris – market launch to begin in the autumn of 2012
- Rapid sets new standards in the compact class
- Space in its most beautiful form: The first ŠKODA in the totally new design is clear, fresh, precise and timelessly elegant
Mladá Boleslav, August 24, 2012 – Today, ŠKODA AUTO launched the production of the new ŠKODA Rapid in Mladá Boleslav. At the end of September, the ŠKODA Rapid will celebrate its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show. The newest model series is of central importance for ŠKODA’s growth strategy and will be introduced in European markets in October this year.
“The launch of the series production of the ŠKODA Rapid is a special moment for us,” emphasised ŠKODA’s chairman of the board, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. “Today, we give the green light for the series production of the new class of ŠKODA. The car sets new standards in the compact class and is an important pillar of our growth strategy. The entire ŠKODA team has worked with great commitment toward this day – starting today, the new Rapid will roll off the assembly line. This car will appeal highly to our customers and strengthen the position of ŠKODA in international markets even further,” said Dr. Vahland.
The ŠKODA Rapid is the third model to be built at Mladá Boleslav as well as the Fabia and Octavia. At the current time, ŠKODA is modernising and expanding essential production areas in its main plant for the production of the Rapid and the next generation Octavia. The production capacity of assembly line one in Mladá Boleslav will be increased from 800 to 1,200 vehicles per day in the future. “This expansion, while production continues simultaneously on both lines, is a logistical and engineering masterstroke of our production, planning and logistical teams,” said Michael Oeljeklaus, the ŠKODA board member for production and logistics. “We will successfully realise a fundamental expansion of capacities in our main plant with this.”
In order to launch the production of the ŠKODA Rapid, various measures will be implemented in 17 production halls in Mladá Boleslav with a total of 173 individual projects to be realised. These involve more than 141 planners and 2,000 employees from external companies. The original assembly line will receive new facilities for the assembly of the ŠKODA Rapid, for example, for the mounting of modules such as the cockpit, front end and chassis, as well as for filling the vehicles with oils, fuels and coolants; they also include new testing facilities, conveying systems and as handling technologies. After the expansion of the production halls, the assembly line has grown by almost one third.
ŠKODA will continue its construction measures and the expansion of the logistical capacities in Mladá Boleslav, due to the upcoming production launch of the new ŠKODA Octavia during the coming months. In the first half year of 2012, the brand manufactured approximately 530,000 vehicles worldwide.
The ŠKODA Rapid has a lot of space, an expressive design, an excellent price/performance ratio, comprehensive safety equipment and economic engines. The Rapid sits between the Fabia and the Octavia in the brand's seven-car range. It is part of the high-volume compact car segment, which represents about 36 per cent of the global automobile market. Within this segment – called the ‘A-segment’ – 42 per cent are hatch. According to industry experts, the number of sold vehicles of this type will increase approximately 50 percent until the year 2020.
Beginning in October 2012, the ŠKODA Rapid will successively make its debut in European markets. In 2013, this will be followed by a special version for customers in China, which is to be to be produced locally. Also, the production of the Rapid for the Russian market at the Volkswagen plant in Kaluga is planned for the beginning of 2014. With the ŠKODA Rapid, the Czech manufacturer wants to primarily attract families who are looking for a spacious main car at an affordable price with the usual ŠKODA quality.
With its compact dimensions (a length of 4.48 meters, a width of 1.7 meters), the ŠKODA Rapid has an outstanding amount of space and room for five passengers and their luggage. Headroom, legroom as well as the boot volume represents the benchmark in this vehicle segment. They are complemented by numerous Simply Clever solutions, an outstanding price/value relation and comprehensive safety equipment. The choice of engines comprises five petrol and two diesel options.
The ŠKODA Rapid expresses the newly developed design language of the manufacturer: Perfect proportions, fresh and cleanly modeled surfaces and sharply drawn lines leading to an attractive, elegant overall appearance. The front end shows the innovative interpretation of the brand-typical design features: The new ŠKODA logo appears confidently on the harmoniously rounded front end of the bonnet. Pure emotions are also conveyed by the lateral shape of the car body. They are evoked by the long wheelbase and a coupe-like silhouette, plus a precise and sharp tornado line that creates a clear separation between light and shadow. Among the important characteristics of the Rapid are the large tailgate, allowing for optimal loading of the 550 litre boot. When the rear bench is folded down, the boot volume increases to up to 1,490 litres, a record in its class. The rear lights, with their brand-typical C-form and the new brand logo, guarantee the distinctiveness of the ŠKODA Rapid.