Czech auto sector eyes record production as it shrugs off VW scandal

By bne IntelliNews November 19, 2015

Czech passenger car production increased 5% y/y to 1.099mn vehicles in the first ten months of 2015, data from the Automotive Industry Association (SAP) showed on November 19.

The data suggest the sector is set yet again to offer momentum to the export-oriented economy this year, breaking another record into the bargain. In 2014, the country’s automakers rolled out a record 1.25mn cars, up 10.5% from the previous year.

The data also suggest the sector is set to shrug off the emissions scandal at Volkswagen, trimming worries in Central Europe over its knock-on effects. Volkswagen is the owner of the country’s largest car producer Skoda Auto, which maintained its leading position, rolling out 628,911 cars in January-October,  0.9% up on an annual basis.

The local plant of South Korea’s Hyundai was second-ranked in terms of output. It assembled 282,381 cars, up 8.4%. Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobile Czech (TPCA) came in third, registering an annual production growth of 15.3% to turn out 187,892 cars.

Data from SAP also showed production of buses expand by 21.8% on the year to 3,650 units in the ten-month period. Lorry production was 5.3% higher at 722 units. Jawa Tynec, the only Czech motorcycle producer, registered 50.3% y/y growth, making 1,509 units.

The auto industry is the traditional driving force of the Czech economy and makes up more than 20% of industrial output. Continued growth in the sector helped GDP expand 4.3% in the third quarter, the fastest pace in Central Europe.

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