Skoda Auto, the Czech Republic's largest auto maker, said its car sales fell 5.5% y/y to 598,400 units in the first eight months of 2013 mainly due to a switch to new models. The company plans to launch eight new models or model variants this year, with the new Octavia and Superb being already launched.
In August alone, Skoda sold 64,000 cars, down 5.4% on the year and fewer than the 69,700 units sold in July.
Sales in Western Europe, Skoda's largest market, fell by 1.4%y/y to 21,400 units in August. In Eastern Europe, the company delivered 10,500 cars, down 7.2% y/y. In Central Europe Skoda sales stagnated at 8,500, down 0.6% y/y.
China remained Skoda's largest single market in August although sales were by 7.9% lower on the year at 18,100 units last month. In Jan-August Skoda sold 159,400 cars in China, down 1.9% y/y.
Octavia was again Skoda best-selling model with 25,400 deliveries in August, down 16% y/y. Fabia followed with 13,300 sold units, down 12.7% y/y.
Skoda, owned by German auto group Volkswagen targets to boost annual worldwide sales to 1.5mn by 2018. Deliveries to clients in 2012 increased by 6.8% y/y to a record-high of 932,000.
Besides Skoda Auto, the Czech Republic is also home to plants run by South Korea's Hyundai and Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobile Czech (TPCA), jointly owned by Toyota and Peugeot Citroen. The auto industry is the traditional driving force of the Czech economy and makes up more than 20% of the country's industrial output.
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