But looking back, it just makes me realise how somewhat 'traditional' the local market is, that brands like Skoda and Renault have been given the coldest of shoulders when buying a car. And it's even more troubling that apart from the usual suspects of impression makers like Audi and Volkswagen, Skoda was actually the other brand that stood out from the rest.
Yes yes I know they're owned by VW and nearly the whole car besides the glued badge at the front and rear are from it's German parents, but if that's the case, why is it that Skoda isn't doing better or as good as Vee-dub? In a recent article in the Straits Times, a compiled list showed that VW posted a 99.5% increase in their sales figures from a year ago, while Skoda didn't make the list.
I did ask a couple of friends and the words that came up the most in their responses were Russian, plastics are cheap and they might break down more often than most other cars. What they forgot to mention though were the issues with selling a Skoda on the second-hand car market, a genuine concern when buying a less popular brand.
No doubt it's a huge market, but no one is really looking for a Skoda are they. And even if they were, the owner would be hard-pressed to sell their car at a price much lower than he/she would have liked. A recent visit down to the (empty) Skoda Showroom scattered with salesmen yielded no solution to my resale woes when posed with the very question of "How ah? This one can resell easy anot?".
When I took the Skoda VRS Combi out for a spin a couple of months back, it felt like a GTI in a slightly larger body. Not a bad thing considering the punchy and raucous engine felt more than sufficient moving the added weight of the combi around corners and on straights. The chassis was amazing, built on the GTI itself and paired up to the DSG box, made for 5 hours of driving fun that I haven't had in a while.
For Renault...how many people actually know the French car-maker is tied up so close to Nissan, they more or less own each other.
So is there a prevalent sentiment within our car buying culture that instantly rules certain brands out without much care for consideration? But what's your say? Why do you think its such?