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Could Volkswagen-owned Skoda return to the United States?

Volkswagen’s Czech Republic-based Škoda division has recently applied for several trademarks in the United States.

The company moved to protect the names Škoda Superb, Superb, Yeti, and Octavia. Of course, car-makers file for trademarks on a regular basis, and Škoda could simply be trying to ensure that an American company doesn’t use one of the aforementioned names on one of its cars.

A second hypothesis is that Volkswagen is toying around with the idea of reintroducing the Škoda brand to the North American market. AutoGuide points out that selling Škodas on our shores could help turn Volkswagen’s North American division around. The company’s profits have allegedly fallen by a whopping 86 percent since the Dieselgate scandal made headlines, and its sales have taken a substantial hit.

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Perhaps tellingly, Škoda only moved to protect the names of relatively big models that could conceivably be sold in the United States. The Superb (pictured) is roughly the size of a Volkswagen Passat, the Octavia is about as big as a Jetta, and the Yeti is a compact crossover that stretches 166 inches from bumper to bumper. The tiny Citigo and the Golf-sized Fabia hatchback were left out of the trademark filing.

Neither Volkswagen nor Škoda have commented on the report, so we’ll have to wait to find out whether the Czech firm is about to return to the US after a long hiatus.

Déjà vu

Škoda is far from a household name, but the company was present on our shores from 1946 to 1967. At its peak, Škoda’s American lineup included a sedan, a coupe, and two convertibles. The number of Prague-built Škodas imported to our shores over a 20-year period is believed to lie in the thousands, making them a rare sight today.