Skoda chief executive Reinhard Jung has outlined how emerging markets will play an increasingly important role in Skoda's future strategy.

Speaking at a press conference in Prague, Jung, who took up his post in October, said that Skoda is planning to step up development and assembly activities in markets such as Russia, India and China, reported Automobilwoche.

Next year Skoda is planning to introduce the Fabia hatchback in China. This year it has already produced around 27,000 Octavias there. This is the current European model based on the VW Golf but Volkswagen is also hoping to keep the estate (wagon) version based on the first generation Octavia. There is still high demand for this model in emerging markets because of its low entry price. Jung said he hopes to keep the Octavia Tour on the market until at the least the year 2010. In Russia, in particular, the model is relatively high volume.

Jung and his five board colleagues are also looking at India and are planning to develop a new product positioned below the Fabia. The Fabia itself will be launched at the Delhi motor show in January.
In addition Skoda is looking at concepts that can be developed for specific national markets using the existing model range.

Skoda is planning to expand engine options using Volkswagen's TSI and common rail technology. This will start with the launch of the second generation Superb at Geneva in March. Other new models include a facelifted Octavia at the end of next year and the launch of the new Yeti compact SUV at Geneva in 2009. A range of low emission vehicles will be dubbed Green Line, and will initially include a Fabia followed by an estate version of the new Superb.

Jung cited Kia and Hyundai as Skoda's biggest competitors. He said that the VW group management board is united on the fact that Skoda should cover all entry-level segments.

Skoda is planning to increase worldwide employment levels from today's level of 27,000 people to help with the planned expansion in emerging markets. Next year it will add around 400 people to work at its new development centre, bringing the total to 1,500 people.