Czech car maker Skoda Auto reports record-high sales in Sept 2014

By bne IntelliNews October 7, 2014

Skoda Auto, the Czech Republic's largest auto maker, said strong demand for its renewed model range pushed sales up by 10.4% to 95,600 units in September 2014. This was the best sales result for September in the company’s history boding well for its target to break another record and sell more than a million cars this year.

The annual growth in sales, however, eased from 14.3% in August, when 73,200 cars were sold. In the first nine months of the year, sales grew by 13% y/y as strong demand in China and Western Europe offset weakening sales in Russia.

Sales in Western Europe, Skoda's largest market, increased by 8.2% y/y to 40,900 in September helped by robust demand in Germany and by a double-digit growth in most countries, the company said in a statement on its website.

In Eastern Europe the company delivered 10,300 cars in September, down 5.5% y/y as sales in Russia dropped 5.2% y/y to 7,300 cars.

Central European sales climbed by 7.8% y/y to 12,000 units. China remained Skoda's largest single market in September with sales there going up by 16.3% y/y to 24,900 units.

Octavia was again Skoda best-selling model with 33,400 deliveries in September, down 4.8% y/y. Rapid followed with 21,800 sold units, up 107.1% y/y.

Skoda Auto, owned by German auto group Volkswagen, targets to boost annual worldwide sales to 1.5mn cars by 2018. In 2013 the company saw sales down by 2% to 920,800 units mainly due to a weak first-half when customers were still waiting for the company’s renewed models. Skoda Auto launched eight new or model variants in 2013, including a new generation of the Octavia model. It plans to introduce a new or a revised model on average every six months until 2016. Skoda’s growth strategy is part of its parent’s plan to overtake Toyota Motor Corp as the world’s biggest carmaker by 2018.

Strong sales of Skoda Auto, which is the country’s top exporter, bode well for the Czech economy that is set to post a full-year growth for the first time in three years in 2014.

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