Skoda to adopt fixed prices in Europe, but not Australia
Volkswagen-owned Czech car-maker Skoda has announced its new electric cars will be sold at non-negotiable, fixed prices in Europe from 2024. The company says there are no plans for Australia to make the same switch.
Volkswagen-owned Czech car-maker Skoda will introduce non-negotiable fixed-price sales in Europe from 2024 – but the brand’s Australian division has for now ruled out a similar move here.
German publication Automobilwoche – through its English-language partner Automotive News Europe – reports the upcoming Skoda Elroq electric SUV will be the brand’s first model to be sold at a fixed price in Europe when it launches next year.
Following the Elroq’s arrival in European showrooms, all new Skoda electric cars will be sold at a non-negotiable fixed price on the continent.
According to the report, Skoda’s European dealers will be compensated with remuneration of approximately 6.5 per cent – similar to their current financial returns made through negotiable sales – but will still be responsible for staff wages and building costs.
Skoda’s concept teaser of the Elroq electric SUV
While fellow Volkswagen-owned brand Cupra launched in Australia last year with non-negotiable fixed prices, a spokesperson for the Skoda’s local division said it does not plan to adopt the controversial sales model.
The fixed-price business model was pioneered by US electric-car giant Tesla when it arrived in Australia towards the end of 2014, though so-called ‘legacy’ car-makers Honda and Mercedes-Benz followed in July 2021 and January 2022, respectively.
In 2022, Honda Australia’s first full year of fixed prices, the brand posted its lowest new-car sales tally on record – with 14,215 cars reported as sold, down from the 29,040 examples sold in the COVID-impacted 2020.
While Mercedes-Benz was taken to the Federal Court by 38 of its approximately 50 dealers – who claimed the German car-maker had not provided appropriate compensation in moving to fixed prices – the auto giant was found to have acted within the law.
As previously reported, Skoda’s new-generation range of electric cars are expected to come to Australia, with the boss of the car-maker’s local division claiming they could arrive within six to 12 months of going on sale in Europe.
Last month, the global boss of Skoda, Klaus Zellmer, said price rises amongst the brand’s model line-up since 2020 were unavoidable – as parts shortages and manufacturing cost increases led the company to prioritise more profitable models.
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