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 use 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.

"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."

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said: "Scottish Tories are less like Skoda and more like Lada - all recent attempts to repackage, reintroduce and re-brand have fallen flat on their face.

"Ruth Davidson is right to say that the Tories have been on the wrong side of the argument in opposing devolution - her problem today is that they remain on the wrong side of the people of Scotland on so many issues.

"During the general election, Ruth Davidson led her party to its worst result in 150 years. And unless they radically re-think their position on the economy and social security, and finally deliver on their vow to people in Scotland, their position will only fall further as people reject their regressive, right-wing policies - and continue to put their trust in a progressive SNP Government ready to build on its record of delivery in office."