Czech carmaker Skoda has been given the go-ahead from parent company Volkswagen to produce a new small 4x4 model based on its Yeti concept car that was displayed at 2006’s Geneva Motor Show. Smaller than VW’s upcoming Tiguan soft-roader, the new Yeti is expected to be built using a mix of components from VW’s parts bin and should hit the market by the middle of 2009

Skoda is striving towards developing its own unique model to differentiate its offerings from sister brands VW and Seat. Like the Roomster mini-MPV, which blends mechanicals from the new Fabia and Octavia models, the development of the Yeti will share much in common with the rest of Skoda’s lineup.

The coming years will be extremely busy for Skoda, which is expected to launch up to six new models by 2010, updating its entire range. The first of these new models will be the Fabia and Fabia Estate due by the end of the year. Following the Fabia will be the next-gen Superb sedan and facelifted Octavia.

There’s even talk about a new minicar based on Skoda’s Joyster concept, however executives are still undecided about introducing such a model although the competition has been doing extremely well in the segment.