Skoda plant in Czech produces first European Rapid sedan: Paris Motor Show
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Skoda plant in Czech produces first European Rapid sedan: Paris Motor Show

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Paris Motor Show will go live from September 27th 2012 and it is here that Skoda will be showcasing their Rapid sedan for the first time publicly. Skoda Rapid will be launched in European markets by end of October. Production has commenced on August 23rd at the company plant in Mlada Boleslav from where Skoda also manufactures their Fabia and Octavia models as well.

As production of Rapid got underway, the company is getting ready to set new standards in this compact car segment. Skoda Rapid will appeal to customers due to its new design which is clear, fresh and elegant. 173 individual projects will be realized while numerous new facilities are set to be optimized in the assembly line for production of Rapid.

Production capacities in Mlada Boleslav will be increased from 800 to 1,200 vehicles per day and it is this increased production capacities that Skoda is concentrating on. This production will necessitate new facilities for the assembly line which will include mounting of different modules for cockpit and front and rear parts of chassis.

While Skoda Rapid debuts in European markets, early next year a special version for Chinese customers will also be revealed. This will be produced locally. Production of Rapid is also slated to commence at the Volkswagen Plant in Kaluga from early 2014. Skoda Rapid is a spacious vehicle sufficient for a family of five, along with enough boot space for luggage. Rapid will be launched with a choice of five petrol engines and two diesel options.

For image gallery of Skoda Rapid, click here.

Read the news release below for more information.

News Release

Mladá Boleslav, 2012-08-23

Series Production of the ŠKODA Rapid started

› ŠKODA launches the series production of the new compact sedan in Mladá Boleslav

› 173 individual projects will be realized; numerous new facilities optimize the assembly line

› ŠKODA Rapid to celebrate its motor show premiere in Paris – market launch to begin in the fall of 2012

› ŠKODA’s new class sets new standards in the compact class

› Space in its most beautiful form: The first ŠKODA in the totally new design is clear,

ŠKODA AUTO launched the production of the new compact sedan 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 the ŠKODA Growth Strategy and will be introduced in European markets beginning in October of this year.

The launch of the series production of the ŠKODA

Rapid is a special moment for us,” emphasized 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 2018. 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 highly appeal to our customers and strengthen the position of ŠKODA in the international markets even further,” according to Vahland.

The ŠKODA Rapid will roll off the assembly line at Mladá Boleslav as the third ŠKODA model next to the model series Fabia and Octavia. At the current time, ŠKODA modernizes and expands essential production areas in its main plant for the production of the Rapid and the future new Octavia. Thus, the production capacity of Assembly Line I in Mladá Boleslav will be increased successively 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,” says Michael Oeljeklaus, the ŠKODA board member for Production and Logistics. “We will successfully realize a fundamental expansion of capacities in our main plant with this,” emphasizes the ŠKODA head of production.

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 realized. The measures involve over 141 planners as well as 2,000 employees of 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 or chassis, as well as for filling the manufactured vehicles with liquid media such as oils, fuels or coolants; they also include new testing facilities, conveying systems as well as handling technology. After the expansion of the production halls, the assembly line has grown by almost one third.

Due to the upcoming production launch of the new ŠKODA Octavia, ŠKODA will continue its construction measures and the expansion of the logistical capacities in Mladá Boleslav during the coming months. In the first half year of 2012, the brand has manufactured approximately 530,000 vehicles worldwide.

The ŠKODA Rapid convinces with a lot of space, an expressive design, an excellent price/performance ratio, comprehensive safety equipment and economic engines. The sedan complements the current model range of the Czech automobile manufacturer between the smaller ŠKODA Fabia and the larger ŠKODA Octavia. It is thus part of the high-volume compact car segment. Today, this segment represents about 36 percent of the global automobile market. Within this segment – called the ‘A-segment’ – 42 percent are sedans. 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 the European markets. In 2013, this will be followed by a special version for customers in China to be produced locally there. Also, the production of the Rapid for the Russian market at the Volkswagen plant in Kaluga is planned for 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 convinces with an outstanding amount of space and room for five passengers and their luggage. Headroom, legroom as well as the trunk volume of the ŠKODA Rapid represent 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 is comprised of five gas and two diesel engines.

As the first ever ŠKODA vehicles produced in series, the ŠKODA Rapid completely expresses the newly developed design language of the manufacturer: Perfect proportions, freshly and cleanly modeled surfaces and sharply drawn lines leading to an attractive, timelessly 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 hood. 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 (nearly like a station wagon), allowing for optimal loading of the 550 liter trunk. When the rear bench is folded down, the trunk volume increases to up to 1,490 liters. With this trunk concept, the Rapid achieves record values in its class. Succinctly shaped, the rear lights with their brand-typical C-form as well as the new brand logo guarantee the distinctiveness of the ŠKODA Rapid.

THE NEW ŠKODA RAPID Europe – THE NEW CLASS OF ŠKODA

New model to be a central pillar for ŠKODA’s 2018 growth strategy
› Lots of room and excellent price-value ratio
› First ŠKODA to feature brand’s new design: clear, precise, fresh, timeless and elegant
› Comprehensive safety equipment, highly efficient petrol and diesel engines
› Families as main target group
› Market launch in Europe from late 2012, specific version for China to follow in 2013

ŠKODA is resolutely pursuing its model offensive, presenting its new compact saloon, the ŠKODA Rapid, just a few months after the introduction of the ŠKODA Citigo subcompact. The brand’s most recent addition is to play a central role in the company’s 2018 growth strategy and will be phased in on European markets from the autumn of 2012.

The ŠKODA Rapid impresses with lots of room, an expressive design, an excellent price-value ratio, a comprehensive safety offering and efficient engines. “This is a model which sets benchmarks in the compact saloon segment. The ŠKODA Rapid is a roomy, elegant and at the same time an affordable car for the whole family, impressing with clever solutions, cutting-edge technology and high economy. In short, it is a car permitting mobility in a comfortable, reasonably priced and environmentally friendly package. The right car at the right time,” says ŠKODA CEO Winfried Vahland.

“The launch of the ŠKODA Rapid means we are firing the next stage of ŠKODA’s model offensive. The Rapid has a central importance for our global growth strategy and will provide us with added momentum on international markets,” says CEO Vahland. The ŠKODA Rapid will be built at ŠKODA’s main plant in Mladá Boleslav in the Czech Republic. A country-specific version of the ŠKODA Rapid will be built and sold in China, respectively, from 2013.

Lots of space and room at an affordable price

The driver and the passengers should have no reason to complain about a lack of room. “In its class, the Rapid is the new benchmark for roominess,” says ŠKODA CEO Vahland. Though exterior dimensions, at (4.48 m in length, 1.71 m in length, 1.46 m in height), may be compact, the car will comfortably seat up to five persons. The Rapid’s figures for knee and head room are best in class, as is the boot at 550 litres – truly family-size.

Cleverly done

ŠKODA’s roomy latest offspring is a “simply clever” car through and through, offering no less than 19 of ŠKODA’s typical “simply clever” solutions. Four of them are available for the first time in the ŠKODA Rapid, including a practical holder for the warning vest underneath the driver’s seat. Storage for the ice scraper is ingenious: it simply slides into the inside of the tank filler flap. A refuse bin in the side door keeps the car’s inside tidy. Another first for ŠKODA is a double-sided covering for the boot floor. In addition to these “premieres”, the Rapid has a lot of other tried and true clever solutions on board such as a multimedia holder, a ticket holder, various cup holders, nettings on the inner sides of the front seats and an optional netting programme for the car’s huge boot.

ŠKODA’s new design: clear, precise, fresh, timeless and elegant

The Rapid is the first ŠKODA series car ever to fully feature the brand’s newly formulated design language. “This is a car that gives out a clear statement at first glance: clear, precise, fresh and emotional,” says Eckhard Scholz, ŠKODA board member for technical development.

Perfect proportions, clear and cleanly modelled surfaces and sharply drawn lines combine to create an attractive overall appearance. The front end displays a new take on ŠKODA-typical design elements. The new brand logo confidently stands out on the harmonically rounded front edge of the bonnet. The grille shows a finely drawn chrome frame and is formed by vertical slats. The headlight ensemble is grouped at the front of the ŠKODA Rapid to form a cloverleaf shape.

The body’s side also conveys pure emotion though a long wheelbase and a coupé-like silhouette, but also thanks to a precise and sharp tornado line creating a clear division of light and shadow. At the rear, the car’s large tailgate is not merely functional, but also acts as a design element. In addition, distinctly shaped taillights in the brand’s typical C shape and the new brand logo all combine to make the ŠKODA Rapid unmistakable.

A perfect family car

ŠKODA is aiming the Rapid especially at families. “Families will love the Rapid,” says Jürgen Stackmann, ŠKODA board member for sales and marketing. “Here is a perfect first car at an affordable price in ŠKODA’s familiar quality.” ŠKODA has customers especially in mind who are successful in their professional and private life. At the same time, the Rapid is a response to changed customer needs. Says Stackmann: “People value mobility, but they may be unwilling or unable to spend too much money on their mobility. The Rapid stands for ‘best value for money’ and caters to exactly this sort of need.”

The Rapid is a perfect complement of the model palette between the ŠKODA Fabia and the ŠKODA Octavia, making it at home in the large-volume compact segment. This so-called A segment currently accounts for 36 per cent of the world’s automobile market. Within this class, saloons have a share of 42.3 per cent. Industry experts estimate the number of cars of this type sold worldwide will rise by about 50 per cent by the year 2020.

Comprehensive active and passive safety package

The ŠKODA Rapid is also big on active and passive safety. ABS and ESP systems are standard in EU countries. The car’s long wheelbase, a precise chassis and a stiff body structure form the basis for stable handling. Functions such as the tyre pressure monitoring, fog lamps with so-called ‘corner function’ or the ‘hill-hold control’ assistant for starting up steep terrain, enhance the car’s active safety level. As for passive safety, a comprehensive package will protect the car’s occupants in case of a collision. It includes front, side and head airbags, adjustable-height 3-point safety belts with tighteners as well as headrests. The stiff body ensures excellent deformation behaviour of the car in a collision.

Efficient petrol and diesel engines

In Europe, the Rapid will be available with a total of four petrol and two diesel engines, all of them conforming to EU 5 standards. The petrol entry-level engine is the 1.2 l MPI three-cylinder producing 55 kW (75 hp). The other petrol engines are the 1.2 l 63 kW (86 hp) TSI, the 1.2 l 77 kW (105 hp) TSI and the 1.4 l 90 kW (122 hp) TSI.

The 1.6 litre diesel engine comes with direct common rail injection and a particulate matter filter and is available in two power variants, the basic diesel putting out 66 kW (90 hp) and scheduled for marketing in the second half of 2013. It may be combined with the optional seven-speed DSG (double-clutch transmission). The 1.6 l TDI CR version is more powerful, putting out 77 kW (105 hp).