Skoda has started production of its new Rapid car for European markets in the Czech Republic.
The Rapid will debut at next month's Paris auto show and will go on sale in Europe in October. The compact car will slot between the Fabia subcompact and the Octavia compact.
The Rapid is a key model in the Volkswagen-owned unit's plans to boost annual sales to 1.5 million by 2018 from 879,200 last year.
A localized variant of the Rapid is already on sale in India. The model will also be built and sold in China starting next year and in Russia in 2014.