Volkswagen Group plans to increase differentiation among its VW, Skoda and Seat brands -- pushing Seat upmarket while focusing Skoda more on challenging lower-priced rivals such as Hyundai, Kia and Dacia.
"We want to manage our brand identities more clearly in future," VW Group's product strategy chief Michael Jost told Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe.
"Seat could represent even more emotional cars, as exemplified by its Cupra models. Skoda could serve eastern Europe markets more intensively, as well as customers seeking functionality even more intensively," Jost said.
The result could mean a rise in pricing for Seat models compared with the VW brand. It would also mean that Seat could become a rival to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Alfa Romeo brand, a desire of former VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech.
Skoda would drop upscale options such as Alcantara soft, suede-like roof linings.
The brand would focus more on previously neglected markets, especially in eastern Europe where Hyundai, Kia and Dacia have pushed down VW Group's market share.
The core VW marque would see changes too, especially to make sure its lineup does not clash with other brands.
"We are taking a very close look at possible overlaps in the product portfolios of all brands. We will not launch a Tiguan Coupe in the European market, for example," Jost said.