50,000 Irish people have now bought a Skoda Octavia
It is hard to believe the Skoda Octavia has been 20 years on the international market. I remember the first unveiling in the Czech Republic.
Even with the first Octavia and its rear-seat space limitations, it was obvious they were onto something.
More than five million people have bought one worldwide since. Included in that are thousands of Irish buyers - more than 50,000 would you believe? Its peak sales year here was 4,572 in 2007. And then came the recession. But last year it climbed to 3,887 sales and looks well on its way to outstripping that total this year as it regularly features in the Top 3 big-sellers list each month.
It has become a family and taxi favourite here and we have had instances of huge-mileage models still going strong.
The first Octavia didn't get here until 1998 and only sold in small numbers but from 1999 onwards it began to take off.
The latest one is a long way from the original in terms of size and technology but there is no missing the Octavia look.
And price isn't the absolute core selling point any more. Now it is about price reflecting value for what is in the car. And that in its own way marks a new era.