The global car industry is alive and kicking, and the competition is as fierce as ever.
That's why Škoda, a Czech car maker belonging to the Volkswagen group, is planning to launch a new generation of Octavia, its bestselling model.
As usual, no official confirmation of the launch has been given by Škoda representatives, who always keep silence about new releases to the very last minute, but there are many indications that the third model of Octavia will be launched at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012.
The current, second generation of Octavia is already seven years old. And seven or eight years is the normal life cycle of a model, at least in Volkswagen.
Octavia is enjoying very good sales, however Škoda cannot afford to keep manufacturing its models, event the most popular ones, for that long. Especially when it is competing with other global players such such as Hyundai, which releases new generations of its models much more often.
And the Paris Motor Show 2012 could be the right place to launch the new model of Škoda's bestselling car. The release of the new Octavia is tied to the expected launch of the seventh generation of the Volkswagen Golf, as both models use the same chassis. And the new Golf will be released next year as well.
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According to sources in Volkswagen, the new Octavia's wheelbase will be at least five centimeters longer. According to Auto.cz, Volkswagen will offer three types of wheelbases in cars of Octavia's size class. The basic wheelbase 2,630 mm will be replaced by the universal 2,578 mm. This wheelbase will enable batteries and electric engines to be implemented into new Volkswagen electric cars, whose production is expected to start in 2013.
At the Geneva Motor Show in March 2011, Škoda's head designer Jozef Kabaň, speaking about Škoda's new design approach, said that the new Octavia model, as well as all other new Škoda cars, will have longer wheel base and shorter front and back overhangs.
Kabaň is the author of the design of Bugatti Veyron.
Thus, it is likely that new Octavia's size will not be larger than in the previous generations, but inside it will have at least the same space as before.
However, before new Octavia is released next year, Škoda will launch at least two new cars. The first one will be a small urban model produced in Bratislava, Slovakia, and expected to be released in fall 2011. The second car will be a global model whose size is somewhere between Fabia and Octavia. It is expected to be launched in March 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show.
In 2013, Škoda could present a new generation of Škoda Roomster, because the production of the current model will finish at the end of 2012.
Diskuse: Skoda to launch new Octavia at Paris Motor Show 2012