Simple and clever

It’s often the little things that make life better. ŠKODA adds clever little details to make day-to-day driving a bit easier. But what makes an idea worth implementing? Here are five questions and answers.

Simply Clever – what is the philosophy behind the ŠKODA slogan?

Simply Clever stands for ideas that have a big impact. ŠKODA aims to amaze its customers with useful touches that are well thought-out. When a customer says “I’m so glad they thought of that!”, we know we’ve got it right.

What sort of touches?

The ice scraper in the fuel filler cap, for example. That little detail means the ŠKODA driver is always prepared for ice and snow. Or the cell phone holder in the middle console, a secure place to keep the phone. Or the car park ticket clip that is attached directly to the windscreen. Other clever ŠKODA touches are the bag hooks – and the double-sided boot mat: one side is covered with carpet to protect delicate items, the other is rubber, making it much easier to clean after transporting damp or dirty items. The umbrella holder built into the rear door of the Superb1 is another Simply Clever favorite.

Who comes up with these ideas?

ŠKODA has a tradition of devising practical solutions. The company encourages all its employees – not just product developers – to be creative. Regular workshops are held to brainstorm new ideas. But customers also have their say. In China, the brand recently launched the Clever Together project, where nearly 50,000 drivers logged into a website to send in their ideas for the car of the future. These included a cordless charging system for cell phones, and heated seats operated remotely by buttons in the key fob.

It’s one thing to have ideas, but how are they put into practice?

We aim to incorporate at least two or three useful ideas in every new ŠKODA model. A Simply Clever team drawn from all areas of the company evaluates the ideas. Every suggestion is tested against some 20 different criteria. Is it original and thought-out? Will it stand up to everyday wear and tear, and is it useful? Can the weight be kept down so that it does not impact fuel consumption and CO2 emissions? Can it be integrated into several model series and used in many countries worldwide? The original 100 ideas are finally whittled down to two or three that are then included in the development of a new car.

ŠKODA lives and breathes the principle of Simply Clever in the production process, too – how does that work?

Here’s a good example: small parts like screws and nuts are automatically sorted by computer in the ŠKODA plants. This ensures that the right parts are always in the right place ready for use and eliminates the risk of errors. Another idea: we developed a new, reusable plastic container for transporting steering wheels. It weighs 62 kilograms less than its predecessor and can hold 20 percent more. Using these new containers, one truck can carry nearly 800 more steering wheels. That’s efficient and kind to the environment.



Whether a shopping bag, gym bag, or toy bag – everything hangs securely and cannot fall over.



Snow – and later condensation – stay outside.



The cell phone is stowed securely and is always within reach.



Perfect for keeping parking tickets in place.

1 ŠKODA Superb fuel consumption in l/100 km combined from 9.4 to 4.2; CO2 emissions in g/km combined from 217 to 109.

ŠKODA Octavia fuel consumption in l/100 km combined from 6.7 to 3.2; CO2 emissions in g/km combined from 156 to 85 (see figure above).

Peter Gaide