Volkswagen Up: Too Expensive for Skoda and Seat?

The Volkswagen Up may be envisioned as an inexpensive city runabout, but two VW subsidiaries – Skoda and Seat – may think it’s too costly to sell as their own.

While VW is furiously working on engineering the Up concept into production form, it’s already built a business case upon selling at least 500,000 units a year. To do so, it plans on selling the car through its Skoda and Seat brands. That, however, may be a problem. One engineer told Automotive News Europe that VW’s engineering decisions “are almost always too expensive for Seat and Skoda.” “Seat and Skoda will contribute high volumes to the Up,” he continued. “But VW engineers are not involving us very much when it comes to deciding on components.” In turn, the Seat and Skoda versions could cost as much as the Volkswagen model. Although both brands are typically strong in their home markets (Spain and the Czech Republic, respectively), they’re often priced cheaper than their Volkswagen siblings. Skoda often plays the role of a value leader, with cars running approximately E1500 ($) below an equivalent VW. VW officials wouldn’t comment on the disagreement, but noted the company planned on “exploiting every opportunity” to trim costs on the Up program. Source: Automotive News Europe

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