CEO Herbert Diess confirms the sad truth.
There are two major VW Group-owned brands that are not sold in the US: Skoda and Seat. Both are extremely popular in many overseas markets despite the fact they essentially sell heavily reskinned VW models. For example, the VW Jetta is also the Skoda Octavia. Both share the MQB platform. These two brands arguably boast superior exterior styling than modern VWs and while we never expected Seat to arrive stateside, there were some still holding out hope for Skoda. Their dreams have now officially been shattered (for now).
Taking part in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session earlier this week, VW Group CEO Herbert Diess was asked again whether the Czech brand had a chance in America.
"For the moment, I don't think that Skoda will come to the US. Currently, we have no plans. Skoda just has taken over group responsibility for India, Russia… and is entering new segments, capacities in manufacturing and R&D are fully booked." So it goes.
Those unfamiliar with Skoda should know that it doesn't just consist of very nicely restyled VWs. No, Skoda has been tasked with leading the development of the updated MQB-A0 platform, a critical architecture that'll underpin new models in several emerging markets throughout Latin America, Asia, Russia, and India. Diess was also asked, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, whether or not the German automaker has future plans to re-launch TDI diesel engines in our neck of the woods. His answer was both direct and humorous. "Definitely not. Microbus is coming!"
The microbus he's referring to is the production-spec version of the ID.Buzz concept, an all-electric retro van that will officially debut on March 9 at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. US sales are due to get underway in 2023. America will only receive a passenger van but Europe, and perhaps other markets, will further get a cargo variant. But the real treat will come in 2025 when the camper version, called California, will debut. And yes, the US will certainly receive that one.
Another upcoming new EV Diess confirmed during his AMA session is the production-spec ID. Space Vizzion. It's set to be sold as both a sedan and wagon, the latter being something of a crossover alternative. Don't expect either to be ready before 2024 or 2025.