Skoda plans to launch a sportier version of its Kamiq small SUV in China to offset a big drop in demand for sedans and hatchbacks in its top market.
A concept called Vision GT previewing the new model will be unveiled at the Shenzen auto show in June.
"This is our vision of how a sporty, urban, lifestyle-oriented SUV will look," a Skoda spokesman said.
The Kamiq sold by Skoda in China is slightly larger than the small SUV with the same name that the automaker is preparing to launch in Europe this year. The China version is built on an older, lower cost platform called PQ, rather than the MQB platform used for the European Kamiq.
The sportier version of the China-only Kamiq is based on the PQ platform, Skoda said. The SUV, which launches this year in China, is not expected to be sold in Europe.
The sporty Kamiq will increase the number of SUVs sold by Skoda in China to five. Last year the automaker began sales of the Kamiq and a China-only Kodiaq GT midsize SUV, which is a sportier version of its Kodiaq midsize crossover. It also sells the Karoq compact SUV In China.
The new model previewed by the Vision GT is likely to be built in the same Nanjing factory as the Kamiq.
Skoda's vehicle sales in China, its largest single market since 2010, increased 4.9 percent to 341,000 in 2018. Skoda's recent strategy has been to focus more on SUVs as sales of its sedans and hatchbacks, including the Octavia compact car, its top-seller, have fallen.
Skoda faces increased competition from Chinese automakers and in March its sales in China fell 28 percent, largely due to a 58 percent drop in Octavia sales, according to data from sales aggregator Bestsellingcarsblog.com.
The Kamiq was Skoda’s second biggest seller, followed by the Karoq, the data showed. The Kodiaq was its fourth best-seller.