Brands that provide good value for money thrive in a weak economy where buyers want to stretch their money, which is why companies like Hyundai had a great 2009 at the expense of more established brands. Joining the Korean marque is Škoda, which sold 684,226 cars in 2009 to better its previous sales record. The figure represents a 1.4% growth over 2008.

Western Europe continues to be Škoda’s strongest market, with both sales and market share increased throughout the continent. Volkswagen’s Czech subsidiary sold over 190,000 cars in Germany, up 57.3% year-on-year. However, the Chinese market saw Škoda’s biggest jump with over 122,000 cars registered – an increase of 107%.

Worldwide, the best-selling Škoda in 2009 was the Octavia, with more than 270,000 cars sold, followed by the Fabia, of which over 260,000 were registered. The much-praised Superb recorded 45,000 units. Customers also showed plenty of interest in the new Škoda Yeti crossover which, despite only being launched in September, found over 11,000 new owners last year. The company also sold over 47,000 Roomsters worldwide.

We can understand the appeal of Škoda cars. Solidly built with VW technology and standards at a lower price, it’s a pity that they don’t have much a of presence in Malaysia.