That Skoda Badge - Woody
I want to buy an Octavia 1.9 TDi DSG. I loved the refinement, build quality, handling, performance, 5 door versatility and dealer's attitude. But.......

Having told various of my intentions there still seems to be a huge issue with the brand. Yes I know the jokes are old, but working in an industry where image is important (Financial Advice) I have had comments from "You're buying a what?!" to "A poor man's VW" to "I've heard they're good but I wouldn't be seen dead in one".

So, two questions:

What IS the current image that driving a Skoda Octavia gives out?

How have existing Skoda drivers countered such comments?


Genuinely interested,

Woody
That Skoda Badge - bell boy
do you want reliability or snob value? they are rarely the same thing in a mass market
That Skoda Badge - PoloGirl
You'll get respect and admiration from people who know and understand cars, and you'll get negative comments from people who don't know anything about cars... but then, do you really care what someone who knows nothing about cars thinks? Why would you value their opinion about a car?

I love that Octavia, and if I wanted a big car it would be top of my list.

That Skoda Badge - Pugugly {P}
More fool the detractors, excellent motors, I would drive one of the fasrt Superbs.
That Skoda Badge - AngryJonny
Question is not whether they're any good, but how they're perceived. As Pologirl says, those who know they're good cars will offer kudos in your general direction. Unfortunately, as a financial advisor I'd imagine many of Woody's clients will fall under the "know nothing about cars but suckers for badge snobbery" umbrella. They'll be expecting their financial advisor to drive a Bimmer or a Merc or (even!) a SAAB (despite poor reliability and Vx Cavalier underpinnings) simply because of the badge. It may not be right, and we may know better, but sometimes you've got to show the customer what they want to see.
That Skoda Badge - Pugugly {P}
When a Financial Advisor nagged his way to my lounge a few years ago and turned up in a new five series, I thought to myself that he must be raking it in so I wouldn't want to contribute to his next new motr. He won't come back, especially after an ugly incident involving a dog and his laptop.
That Skoda Badge - Woody
Interesting mix of replies so far. I concur with all of them!

From a financial view, I believe I will be driving an Audi in all but badge and have £7,000 earning money to put towards my next car. That's the kind of hollistic advice that I tend to give (e.g. clients who have £5,000 in the Halifax earning 2% and a £3,000 Barclaycard balance paying 16.9%).

Anyone who knows about cars will be aware just how good Skoda are, but there is still an unhealthy majority (just) of people who associate Skoda with naffness or 'budget'.

I suppose if I do buy the Skoda I will have to justify it to people on a regular basis, whilst an A3 sportback just gets cooing noises and "ooh, he's does well for himself" type comments.



Keep 'em coiming please..........
That Skoda Badge - mare
Difficult to tell, but a bet a lot of (ignorant) people's reactions to an A3 (sportback or not) would be "couldn't afford a proper Audi then?"
That Skoda Badge - No FM2R
If that's the advice you give, then I would expect you to follow it. I would think that you would detract from the impact and perceived value of your advice if you didn't follow it.

But yes, I expect you'll spend a fair amount of time justifying it.
That Skoda Badge - AngryJonny
Have you thought about getting a Mazda 6 or an Avensis? You'll get a good quality, reliable car with lots of kit and a badge that says nothing about you (positive or negative) in anyone's eyes, without being a "run of the mill" Ford or Vauxhall.
That Skoda Badge - AlastairW
Exactly, PU. The firm I used to work for used to farm out financial advice to a local advisor. He was pretty good, but the day he turned up in a brand new 911 made us wonder if we were getting value for money...
That Skoda Badge - mare
I had an Octavia SLX TDI for three or four years: it was fine. VW/Audi on everything under the bonnet, same engine as the Golf, Leon, Passat, A4 etc etc. It did go wrong though and i got rid of it.

The only person who had negative comments (and that was only joshing) was my business partner who constantly derided it , so to wind him up and fulfil the role as the tighfisted one i drive a R reg Almera.

I think that it sends a message that you're sensible with money. If you're a financial advisor and sensible with your own money, and that ought to be reassurance for your customers. I would personally put it as an alternative to a Mondeo or Avensis.

As PG said, those who know nothing will look down at it, those that do will see it as a cheaper collection of VAG parts made somewhere other than Germany (and yes, I know that VW's are made everywhere now, but the same people who scoff at Skoda probably think that ALL Volkswagens are made in Germany. Even the Sharan's. Which aren't made at the same place as the Ford Galaxy though, they're built in Dagenham. Must be right, bloke down the pub told me........)

That Skoda Badge - Stuartli
The Octavia has consistently been in the top three of major car reliability, build quality, running costs etc surveys based on owners' personal experiences over the past few years.

Such an overall combination is why so many of our local taxi drivers run them.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
That Skoda Badge - Avant
The badge says 'I've chosen my car carefully and I still enjoy driving'. Those who are intelligent enough to take your financial advice, Woody, and pay you for it, are the sort of people who know that modern Skodas are excellent.
That Skoda Badge - runboy
Local plod now run Skoda's......What Car? have a new VRs thingy on their fleet and write highly about it.

In this world where flash means brash....maybe a Skoda does present the right image. As said by someone else, I'd be more worried if someone turned up in a flash car.

A friend or a friend complained that their business was being hurt by his flash motor, so he left it at home, drives round in a Pug 206 and has no problems getting work.
That Skoda Badge - Manatee
Agree with PU. I would not take financial advice from someone I suspected of being concerned with image above financial sense. Oddly, although I would not want a Saab or a Volvo, I would be more sympathetic to those as I would not think they were image driven choices but what the adviser him/herself perceived as a sensible purchase.

Personally I wouldn't buy a Skoda as I have had my fill of VW group products, but I would think "he's no mug - he's more concerned with using his money to build wealth than to present an image".

From a financial point of view, cars are a cost that should be minimised - it amuses me that people buy a flash car (I am deliberately not using a brand example) as a way of saying they are more successful, when all they have achieved is to make themselves poorer than they reasonably needed to

It really wouldn't bother me if my financial adviser turned up in a 5 year old Mondeo - anybody with a reasonable wage can get into a Mercedes SLK if they want to and it proves nothing, and leaves open the question of whether they really like it or are just so vacuous as to think it makes people respect them in some way.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with having an Audi if you want one - but ask yourself, if you see me driving one, does it make you think more of me in some way? I doubt it. Get what you want, for what you want to spend, and forget the image - it's not as important as you think.
That Skoda Badge - MichaelR
You can't win, you really can't.

Skoda? Ha, poor mans VW.
VW? Oh dear... fake prestige car.
BMW? Oh dear, flash git.
Merc? Oh dear, old man
Audi? Oh dear, bet he wanted a BMW but couldnt stomach the image...

You wont please all of the people all of the time, so stuff image and buy the car you like best.
That Skoda Badge - Lud
Genuinely interested,
Woody


Of course they aren't Skodas really, they're Czech VWs, and said to be very good. Why do you care what the image is? Or is it just curiosity which wd be OK?
That Skoda Badge - aahbarnes
A guy came to quote to do some work for me recently, he drove a brand new 5 series BMW. I was thinking to myself this guy doesn't need my money, he's got enough already - if he had been driving a Skoda he would have got the work!

That Skoda Badge - MichaelR
A guy came to quote to do some work for me
recently, he drove a brand new 5 series BMW. I was
thinking to myself this guy doesn't need my money, he's got
enough already - if he had been driving a Skoda he
would have got the work!


What a truely odd way of you doing business. I chose people to do work based on their ability to do the job and their prices, not whether I think they need the money. Are you some sort of charity for needy builders or something?
That Skoda Badge - Paul Robinson
I'd tend to bounce the question back on you Woody - What would make you feel like a 'proper' Financial Adviser?

If you feel confident arriving at potential clients in an Octavia then go for it, but if you're going to arrive lacking confidence then you need to buy whatever you consider will make you feel confident as a Financial Adviser in those circumstances.

I suspect you may need to bow to peer pressure and buy an industry standard German car.

One of my Financial Adviser clients mentioned the other day that he'd gone to an industry conference, said the car park was a sea of Audi A4s!
That Skoda Badge - Roger Jones
Financial adviser? The smart money goes on a Skoda. Owning one could also mark you out as being truly independent and not a crowd follower. Anyone given a ride in one would soon appreciate their quality, although the victims of badge snobbery won't change their minds and will continue to waste their money.

"I bought a Skoda and hit a stock-market jackpot with the money I saved."
That Skoda Badge - hbosken
I've had a few Saabs in my time (only because I liked the quirkiness!) and a few Volvos (to my regret), plus Honda, BMW, VW. Took a test drive in an Octavia RS - wish I hadn't bought the Saab now. Skoda quality, refinement, performance superb - much better than BMW or Volvo. Maybe not as good as the Hoda, but getting there. To heck with snobbishness - I'd be quite happy for anyone to park a Skoda in my driveway and would respect their love of cars rather than trying to be one of the I'm a Merc or Beemer snob.
That Skoda Badge - Stuartli
Having top quality cars can work the other way.

One of my mates runs a hugely successful business and the top supermarket representatives visited one of his production plants two or three years ago to discuss a contract.

He landed the contract, to his delight, and politely asked why he had been successful.

The response was that there were so many high value cars (Mercedes, Range Rover, BMWs etc) in the plant's car park that one of the key factors in the decision was the firm's successful business up to then was clearly on show.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
That Skoda Badge - Xileno {P}
And the fact that most or all of those expensive cars were probably on credit evaded the supermarket.

I would have thought a quick glance at the balance sheet would have been better.

I know a bloke who is in his early 50's and is unbelievably wealthy. He has at least three expensive houses in posh parts of London, farm in Yorkshire, farm in New Zealand, huge house near us. He has made his fortune out of selling helicopters and private jets.

And he drives a knackered old Merc 1984 era...
That Skoda Badge - lordy
My brother knows nothing about cars. He is just choosing his next co. car, and having driven the cars on the list - Avensis, Laguna, Octavia, Passat, Vectra, Mondeo, he was by far and away most impressed with the Skoda.

A friend knows his cars. He has had a string of Jags and BMW's, whilst his wife has had generic co. cars. She recently changed her car for an Octavia. Result? Within a month, he sold his BMW for another Octavia.

FWIW, I think they are cracking cars, shame the new one had such similar styling to the previous model. A diesel estate would probably be every car you'd ever need.


--
let me be the last to let you down....
That Skoda Badge - andymc {P}
Although the exterior makeover has been subtle, I think the new Octavia is better/classier looking than the old one, and the impression I get from reviews, comments etc is that the interior has been given an upgrade in "perceived" quality to match the real build quality. Things like doors closing with more of a thunk than a clang, better looking/softer-touch plastics in the cabin, etc.

When I was making my new car choices a few years back, I opted for a Leon, which as we all know was pretty much identical under the skin, so it wasn't a question of doubting the mechanical robustness of the then Octavia by comparison. Although the Leon was generally better specced, I mainly didn't consider the Octavia at the time because the looks and styling didn't appeal to me - maybe they seemed a bit dull, or projected a "budget car" image. By contrast, I think the new one somehow has the appearance of being a "classier" car without trying to be "premium brand" - sort of how Volvo and VW used to be maybe ten years ago. I know this is all superficial but that's more or less what the thread is about!

Essentially, I think your concerns would be more valid for the previous Octavia than the current one. I don't believe its image will do you any harm at all. If I was buying today I would certainly have the Octavia on my shortlist (quite possibly in preference to the new Leon, for example), although I'd be hard pressed to dismiss the Mazda6.
--
andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
That Skoda Badge - NowWheels
Having told various of my intentions there still seems to be a huge issue with the brand.
Yes I know the jokes are old, but working in an industry where image is important (Financial
Advice) I have had comments from "You're buying a what?!" to "A poor man's VW" to
"I've heard they're good but I wouldn't be seen dead in one".


Hmm. Are you listening to the people you work with, or to your clients?

There are a lot of sharks in the financial services business. And my judgment is that someone who drives too fancy a car is either making too much money out of his clients, in which case I'll stay clear ... or he just likes using excess amounts of his money or a rapidly depreciating asset, in which case I wouldn't trust the advice either. I want my money managed by people who know their stuff and are not showing off.

Your colleagues may sneer, but it's your clients who pay the bills.
That Skoda Badge - Lud
Hmm. Are you listening to the people you work with,
or to your clients?

>
Your colleagues may sneer, but it's your clients who pay the
bills.


Of course people are who they are and we're stuck with our colleagues and clients up to a point. However there's no point in listening to the opinions of besuited 40-year-old fashion victims on something as important and interesting as cars.

Ask yourself: are these people going to ostracise you if they think your car isn't smart enough for them? Seems unlikely.

The comments quoted sound like a bunch of malicious ten-year-old girls discussing someone's clothes in the playground. Treat them with the indifference they deserve.
That Skoda Badge - SteVee
It don't matter what you buy - there will always be some people who will dismiss it

I might ask a financial advisor why (s)he bought the car - and I'd expect to hear that it made financial sense, and perhaps why it made sense. A modern Skoda badge would be a plus in this respect.
It would be nice to hear that you liked the car also.

To be honest, the badge on soneone's car is of little interest - why it appeals to them is much more illuminating.
That Skoda Badge - turbo11
Drive what you want to.Who cares what others think about what car YOU drive.I certainly dont.
That Skoda Badge - Nsar
I've heard it said that when you're trying really hard to think of something that puts your mind off what you're doing (if you get my drift) picturing Richard Branson in your mind's eye has the desired effect.

Skoda is the automotive equivalent.

That Skoda Badge - Baskerville
And in a similar vein (OK, not that similar) I find that whenever someone says "He/she will be running as President/Prime Minister," or whatever, it's good to apply what I call "The Putin Test." Ask yourself how competent he/she would look standing next to Vladimir Putin in a news conference.

Find the motoring equivalent (at your level) of Putin. Park a Skoda next to it.
That Skoda Badge - Lud
Richard Branson? Vladimir Putin? What is this carp?

What's the automotive equivalent of George Bush? Tony Blair? Osama bin Laden? Saddam Hussein? That frightful Israeli guy?

Jeez!
That Skoda Badge - Baskerville
...

snigger

...
That Skoda Badge - barney100
Mate of mine was a financial advisor and he always had an unoretentious car like a Vw Jetta. He reckoned a Bmw or Merc would give the impression that he was making too much out of clients.
That Skoda Badge - NowWheels
Mate of mine was a financial advisor and he always had an unoretentious car like a Vw
Jetta. He reckoned a Bmw or Merc would give the impression that he was making too
much out of clients.


One such person I encountered drove an utterly imaculate old Merc 190. Next-to-zero depreciation, and it looked smart and different without saying to clients: "look, I've got 25 grand of client's cash parked outside".
That Skoda Badge - bradgate
A financial advisor driving an Octavia would send out all the right signals: Knowledgable, prudent, mature, sensible, individual, rational.

I would be inclined to take the advice of such a person seriously.


That Skoda Badge - Woody
Many thanks for so many replies, covering all possible angles and view points.

'Now Wheels' and 'Bradgate' amongst others hit the nail on the head, it is peer pressure that troubles most, but it should really wash over me.

I agree that a clean new Octavia will send out very good signals to clients and prospective clients of financial prudence, rational and individual. The herd in my industry drive Beemers - and I have never wanted to be one of the herd.

I also know very well from my job that the car on the drive rarely reflects the genuine financial status of the people in the house or work place, in fact very often the reverse with the BMW/Merc a front for financial bedlam.

In summary, with clients an Octavia is the right image, an accurate reflection of me. As for the peer pressure, stuff 'em, because I am better off than most of them on every basis.

Interesting that Volvo and Saab should come up in comments as I have a soft spot for both brands, but the S40 left me cold and Saabs strike me as a Cavalier in a frock. The Octavia is a real drivers car and felt right from the off.

I drove the 2.0 TDi DSG and loved it, but feel the 1.9 DSG will be enough for my typical one-up town and motorway driving, but I will try one before deciding which way to leap.

Again thanks a lot for great comments from the best motioring forum on the net. Octavia here we come......


Woody
That Skoda Badge - Victorbox
"Saabs strike me as a Cavalier in a frock" ....lucky to be designed around such a reliable car, but an 18+ year old design, now so I doubt it.
That Skoda Badge - TheOilBurner
AFAIK it works like this:

Saab 9-3 = Re-bodied Vectra C (GM Epsilon platform) (100% sure)
Saab 9-5 = 1/2 Re-bodied Vectra B and 1/2 technology from old Saab 9000 (90% sure)

The cavalier jibe only really applies to the older GM Saab's, like the 900.
That Skoda Badge - Woody
After a few inconveniences on other fronts, I finally got round to ordering a new car today:

Skoda Octavia
1.9 TDi Manual
Elegance Trim with Maxidot
Diamond Silver


I did fancy the DSG, but drove a manual yesterday that was so absurdly stonky and flexible that it was almost an auto in 4th.

Delivery next week and hopefully three years of worry free ownership.

Woody
"You've bought a Whaaaaat?"
That Skoda Badge - Happy Blue!
Good choice. I like the look of the new Octavia. If only they did a nice 6-cylinder model and you could cover up the badge so SWMBO wouldn't notice. ....
That Skoda Badge - Clanger
Enjoy it. BiL has a Superb and speaks very highly of it. He should know what he' s talking about, as an ex class 1 Police driver.
Hawkeye
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land
That Skoda Badge - mr.freezer
I ran an Octavia estate as a company car and covered just under 100k trouble free miles in 2 years

The car was far and away the best company car I have run, beating my other company cars (Laguna x 2, 406, 306 x 2, and Escort) hands down along with the umpteen pool and hire cars driven.

My new company Octavia estate arrives this week

That Skoda Badge - v8man
The Octavia is built on the Golf floorpan and shares the same oily bits.
Just to put the record straight: Saabs share the underpinings of the Vectra, not the Cavalier. They are not the same car!
--
\"Nothing less than 8 cylinders will do\"
That Skoda Badge - Neiltoo
And if anyone queries Skoda's engineering quality, ask if they know who designed and produced the hub for the London Eye.
Not unlike a bicycle wheel hub, but 100 times bigger.
That Skoda Badge - Lud
100, Neiltoo? You could put 100 bicycle wheel hubs in a bag and carry it about.
That Skoda Badge - ukbeefy
Woody I would think about your customer base...who are your typical clients? And how do they view you?

If they view you as more of a "sensible" man who gets our finances in order then projecting a safer sensible image via the Skoda sounds fine - also it does give them some reassurance that you're not a sharp suited type just about to go on some expensive cruise on the commission income.

If your clients are more self consciously the businessman "made good" who do measure someone by obvious trappings of success (certain ethnic populations come to mind where a silver Merc is seen as the only way to say you are successful) then maybe you need to buy something more default option and German.

Certainly unless you were selling a product that was especially competitive I would prefer the first option as it would show to me someone using their brain a little more and having the confidence to go their own way.

That Skoda Badge - Aretas
Woody,

Now you have one side of the story.

As the same question on a financial web site and see what the repiles are - and then tell us 'cos we would be interested.
That Skoda Badge - NowWheels
If your clients are more self consciously the businessman "made good"
who do measure someone by obvious trappings of success (certain ethnic
populations come to mind where a silver Merc is seen as
the only way to say you are successful) then maybe you
need to buy something more default option and German.


That does make sense: there are indeed clients who would value the bling. I guess it all depends on which client groups are involved here?
That Skoda Badge - Big Bad Dave
I must be missing something here. Do you do all your business in the car park? I never saw any of the cars my book-keepers, accountants or financial advisors.

Actually that's not quite true, I bumped into my financial guy in a precinct car park recently, he was getting into a battered red 106. He arranged my current mortgage at just over 2%, better by far than any rate I ever had in the UK and that's the reason he got my business.
That Skoda Badge - Adam {P}
Start worrying Dave.
That Skoda Badge - Big Bad Dave
Do you think he's gonna turn up with a car load of blokes and threaten to cut my fingers off?

Good job he only had a little car then.
That Skoda Badge - NowWheels
Start worrying Dave.


2% is below base rate, isn't it? I think Adam may have a point
That Skoda Badge - Big Bad Dave
Dunno HotWheels, I borrowed in Swiss Francs and didn't understand anything I signed. The rate was actually 1.5 with some bits n bobs added on. Millennium Bank, whoever they may be.
That Skoda Badge - v8man
I really can't imagine anyone gives a toss what you drive so long as they get a good deal on their mortgage or whatever product you are arranging. Mine turned up in a Merc but did me a cracking deal on a mortgage and that is what I paid him for!
Just forget the vanity and buy what you like.
--
\"Nothing less than 8 cylinders will do\"
That Skoda Badge - barchettaman
....He won't come back, especially after an ugly incident involving a dog and his laptop.....

More info please Pug!
That Skoda Badge - RobC
I can recall the Channel 4 motoring programme "Driven" when they road tested the then new Fabia. They taped over the badge work and asked Joe public if they could work out who built it. They all liked the car but none guessed it was a Skoda.

Several years later of increased sales, improved reliability (JD Power) new models (Roomster) and the next Fabia just around the corner, not forgetting the proposed Yeti 4x4, Skoda are in good health and looking good for the future.

Would I buy one? Absolutely.
 

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