Skoda Celebrates 500,000th Yeti SUV Built

Skoda Celebrates 500,000th Yeti SUV Built 1 photo
Photo: Skoda
Skoda has released today this photo of its employees standing around a bright red Yeti SUV that just rolled off the assembly line in Kvasiny. It's not a random car, but the 500,000th unit of what they describe as one of the most popular compact SUVs on the market.
While the Czech automaker is pleased with its results, we find that half a million units sold since 2009 isn't such a great achievement. Audi made about as many TT sportscars that cost twice as much on average.

Still, to understand where the Yeti went wrong, we must look at a more successful crossover model. Launched in 2010, the Dacia Duster is only one year younger than the Yeti, and yet it's arguably more successful. In fact, it sold almost as many units in 2014 (395,350) as Skoda did in almost six years.

Despite offering everything a family man would need from a car, the early Yeti was not very popular. The styling was awkward, featuring large circular lights in the lower bumper. A mid-life facelift arrived in 2013 and fixed this problem, but by that time competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 received new generations.

“Since its introduction, the Yeti has delighted customers in Europe and on the international markets. We owe this success not least to the team in Kvasiny. It is with their technical skills, their expertise and the highest commitment that they essentially shape the excellent reputation of the plant. Over the next few years, Kvasiny’s production volume will increase significantly. SUV production is going to play an important role in this,” said Michael Oeljeklaus, Skoda Board Member for Production and Logistics.

We know that the next generation of the Yeti will debut in 2016, so demand is likely to pick up. Also, the same factory that makes it and the Superb flagship will likely be tasked with the production of SEAT's first SUV or other smaller soft-roaders that are also planned by the Volkswagen Group.

It's worth noting that because it's relevant in many markets, the Yeti is also made in China, Russia and India.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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