Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fancy selling Škoda in Ireland?

Last Friday, 20 January 2012, The Irish Times published an interview in its Business Section with the recently appointed managing director of Volkswagen Group Ireland which gave him a unique platform to introduce himself. But does he drive a Škoda?

At the back of the paper there was an avertisement in the Appointments Section where Škoda, the Volkswagen subsidiary, which bills itself as 'Simply Clever', announced it is looking for a Head of Sales and described how Škoda is a 'fast moving, dynamic brand with strong and exciting plans for growth'

The responsonsibilities include 'manage the dealer network to ensure that all sales KPI's are achieved'. The appointee is expected to have a 'passion for results and delivery of KPI's' (sic). He, or she will also deliver sales training programmes for 'Dealer Principles' (sic) and Sales Staff' and is expected to have 'a high level of written, verbal and presentation skills'.

Do these Škoda people not realise that is grammatically incorrect to write an acronym, such as KPI, in the possessive case? Are they also confusing principles with principals? What is to become of the reputation of Volkswagen if its subsidiary is shown to be not proficient in the use of English?

My perception of Škoda has never been inspiring, especially after a friend of mine purchased one and brought it to the vendor, a main Škoda dealer in Dublin, for its first service. My friend discovered afterwards that the oil had not been changed. But this astute customer knows his oils thoroughly, he having worked in the oil industry for a lifetime.

Another blackmark for Škoda in my book. Is this a case of a dealer without principles being supplied by a manufacturer who is not 'simply clever', but is 'simply incoherent'?

Last year there were 86,932 new private cars licensed in Ireland for the first time and Škoda accounted for 4,457 of these - fewer than Ford, Nissan, Opel, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen. But so much for 'fast moving' - there were 210 fewer new Škoda cars licensed in 2011 compared to 2010.

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