2021 was a year of challenges for tech and auto manufacturers alike. Supply chain shortages were plenty, bringing worldwide productions to a halt. Czech car manufacturer, Skoda, was one of the corporations that suffered the consequences of these shortages. Despite that, the company managed to reach higher sales returns and profits in 2021.
2021 In Numbers for Skoda
Skoda earned higher revenue in 2021 despite it delivering “only” 878,200 new cars to the market, which is 12.6% fewer vehicles than the year prior. Amidst semiconductor shortages and supply bottlenecks, the company’s 6.1% return on sales is a massive success. Not only that, but its revenue rose by 3.9%, reaching almost $19.5 billion.
Keeping Up With Their ‘Simply Clever’ Philosophy
In true Skoda fashion, the company dealt with the extremely challenging fiscal year “calmly” and by keeping up with their signature ‘simply clever’ philosophy, says Christian Schenk, Skoda board member for IT and finance. The company suffered a significant production drop at the beginning of the third quarter, largely due to parts-supply issues, one of the main ones being semiconductor shortages.
It’s expected that issues with semiconductors supply will ease this year, even with the situation in Ukraine will certainly impact production, although it’s early to make any specific predictions, says Skoda CEO Thomas Schäfer.
Skoda’s Best Selling Cars of 2021
Unsurprisingly to Skoda fans, Skoda Octavia was the best-selling car of the manufacturers last year. Globally, the company sold 200,800 vehicles. The second most sought-after model was Skoda Kamiq (120,700), and Skoda Karoq (119,200) came in third.
As for the future, Schäfer recently shared that the company has three electric cars currently in development. Although he didn’t reveal much, he did hint that fans could expect an electric Octavia in showrooms at some point in the future. For Skoda, electric driving is certainly the most reasonable solution going forward, and Schäfer also confirmed that hydrogen isn’t on the agenda.
There aren’t many things left for Lewis Hamilton to prove on a Formula 1 racing circuit. During the British Grand Prix, Hamilton had to dig deep to show his skills as he limped over the line to victory. The driver showed just how good he was by winning the British Grand Prix on only three wheels.
Leading From The Front
In just the fourth race of the Formula 1 calendar, it looked like Hamilton had already wrapped up his next world title. The British driver led from the front from the very beginning, although he did concede he was pushed to his limits by his teammate, Valtteri Bottas. There didn’t seem to be too much trouble for Hamilton until he got to the final lap of the race.
Blowing A Tire
On the final lap, Hamilton’s tire blew with half of the lap left to complete. If it wasn’t for the fact Bottas’ tire had also burst a few laps earlier, Hamilton’s place at the front could have been in danger. As it was, Hamilton managed to limp home to victory. The driver said his final lap with just three tires was “one of the most challenging laps I have ever had.”
More Tire Troubles
At the following race weekend, the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, also in Silverstone, Hamilton again had tire troubles. He was chased down by Max Verstappen, who was on a harder tire compound to Hamilton and Bottas.
Mercedes was expected to dominate again, but even after switching to hard tires, Hamilton and Bottas struggled with blistering. That left Verstappen to lead from the front and show the rest of the pack that Mercedes isn’t entirely invincible after all.
It is now up to Lewis Hamilton to respond to the latest challenge from Max Verstappen. Their rivalry could get interesting if Mercedes continues to burn out its tires too quickly.