NOW THE PROUD OWNER of the one-time Czech-bodged 'brand from hell', Volkswagen
is running a novel promotion promising potential Skoda
-buyers £10 if they agree to a test drive - with one unique condition - they must first try a Nissan, Daewoo, Ford or Rover. That ordeal undergone, prospective buyers then ease behind the wheel of Skoda's newly revamped and improved Felicia or Octavia models, after which sublime experience they duly receive their tenner. Explains Skoda's UK director Dermot Kelly:
'The idea is that in five years time Skoda will be a positive brand. When I started in 1993, Marketing magazine said we were the 'brand from hell'. We have a negative image. We are doing it [the promotion] on a region by region basis. We cannot do a national programme in one go. I would have to rent 200 Daewoos and 200 Fords and I don't want to help boost their figures!'