Something Hot (and Foreign) This Way Comes? Skoda Trademarks VRS Name in U.S.

Skoda Octavia VRS

Czech vehicle names and badging are piling up at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, adding fuel to the rumors of a stateside Škoda launch.

On July 14, Škoda Auto filed a trademark application for VRS, which is the performance variant of the brand’s Octavia lineup. If the Czechs do invade the American marketplace, they might bring something fun with them. 

A month ago, Škoda filed for use of the “Skoda H-Tec” name, but the rumor mill mother lode came in late May, when the Volkswagen-owned automaker filed trademark applications for “Skoda Superbâ€�, “Superbâ€�, “Octaviaâ€�, and “Yeti.â€� That’s an entire lineup of vehicles, even though the company hasn’t sold a product in the U.S. since the early 1960s.

Parent company Volkswagen Group hasn’t said anything about its plans for the surging European brand. The trademark filings could simply be a way for the company to preserve the names, even if it has no plans to use them.

Still, Volkswagen’s starting to show some newfound flexibility in the post-emissions scandal era, and a U.S. Škoda introduction can’t be ruled out. Vojta DobeÅ¡, TTAC’s resident Czech, speculated that Volkswagen could abandon its traditional entry-level passenger car lineup and slot Škoda vehicles into that market niche.

Volkswagen’s putting most of its U.S. development efforts into cranking out money-making crossovers and SUVs. The guilt-ridden company also wants to be an electric car leader. Where does that leave someone looking for an affordable, gas-powered econobox with European pretensions?

Å koda’s star is rising overseas. Just today, the brand announced record sales in the first half of this year. With 569,400 deliveries in the first half of 2016, the brand’s sales performance topped last year’s figures by 4.6 percent.

[Image: Škoda Auto]