Skoda aims to double its sales in China to over 600,000 units per year by 2020, from 310,000 units last year, Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier told reporters at a recent conference in Shanghai.

Maier said the Skoda brand, which entered the Chinese market in 2007, will strengthen its model line-up in China in the next few years, starting with the Karoq compact SUV in the first quarter of 2018.

Earlier this year, the company launched the larger mid-sized Kodiaq SUV in China and last week it released the new generation Octavia passenger car, which remains the brand’s best-selling model in China with more than 1.35m units sales in the last ten years.

Skoda cars are produced locally by SAIC Volkswagen, a Shanghai-based joint venture with its German parent company.

Mr Maier said five new Skoda SUV models will be launched in China in the next three years to capitalize on fast-growing local demand in this segment. The SUV segment is expected to account for 50% of Skoda’s projected growth in this period.

Sales of SUVs in China increased by 17% to 5.2 million units in the first seven months of 2017, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

In 2020, Skoda plans to launch an electric vehicle in China and it expects to have five new-energy vehicles on the market by 2025.