THE Scottish Tories have been compared to much-mocked car manufacturer Skoda by the party’s own leader.
Ruth Davidson said she was trying emulate the success Volkswagen had when it overhauled the Czech firm and made it successful by improving its “rubbish” vehicles.
Skoda was widely ridiculed for its unreliable cars until Germany’s VW took over more than a decade ago.
Ms Davidson told BBC 2’s Newsnight: “If you remember when Skoda used to do rubbish cars and there was jokes about Ladas and Skodas and then VW came in and they had a choice - they either rebadge the cars as VWs or they made the car better.
“VW chose to make the car better. Well, that’s what I’m trying to do with the Scottish Conservatives.
VW chose to make Skodas better instead of rebadging the cars. That’s what I’m trying to do with the Scottish ConservativesRuth Davidson
“I don’t just want to change the name but have the same people and the same policies and all the rest of it and just look as if we are Conservatives that are ashamed of being Conservatives.
“I’m not ashamed of being Conservative. It’s the party I joined, it’s the party I believe in but I want to shape the Conservatives and I want to make the car better. I want to make this party better and that’s what I have been trying to do.”
Ms Davidson said the party had been on the “wrong side of the argument” about devolution in the past.
She told the programme: “It’s right to say the Scottish Conservatives have underperformed in recent years, particularly that crucial juncture around 1997, we got a lot of things wrong.”