Czech Skoda Auto car sales rise 4.6% in Feb 2014

By bne IntelliNews March 13, 2014

Skoda Auto, the Czech Republic's largest auto maker, said strong demand for its renewed flagship Octavia model pushed sales up by 4.6% y/y to 70,200 units in February 2014. Sales of the company increased for the sixth straight month in February and followed a 16.5% y/y jump to 80,900 units in January, the company said in a statement on its website.

Sales in Western Europe, Skoda's largest market, increased by 13.2% to 28,900 units in February 2014 helped by a 9% rise in Germany and double-digit growth rates in many countries in the region. In Eastern Europe the company delivered 8,900 cars in February, up 3% y/y, and sales in Central Europe grew by 35.7% y/y to 12,900 units.

China remained Skoda's largest single market in the second month of 2014 although sales there fell by 9.6% y/y to 14,300 units.

Octavia was again Skoda best-selling model with 26,400 deliveries in February, down 2% y/y. Fabia followed with 12,200 sold units, down 21.2% y/y.

Skoda Auto, owned by German auto group Volkswagen, target 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. For 2014 the company is targeting to sell a record-high of one million cars. Skoda’s growth strategy is part of its parent’s plan to overtake General Motors and Toyota Motor Corp as the world’s biggest carmaker by 2018.

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