Czech Skoda Auto says car sales jump 15.5% in April 2014 on strong demand for new models

By bne IntelliNews May 13, 2014

Skoda Auto, the Czech Republic's largest auto maker, said strong demand for its renewed model range, including the flagship Octavia model, pushed sales up by 15.5% y/y to 89,600 units in April 2014, the best-ever result for the month. The annual growth speeded up from a 14.6% rise in March, when 96,100 cars were sold.

Sales in Western Europe, Skoda's largest market, increased by 22.1% to 36,600 in the fourth month of 2014 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 10,700 cars in April, up 1.6% y/y, and sales in Central Europe climbed by 35.8% y/y to 14,600 units. China remained Skoda's largest single market in April with sales there going up by 7.6% y/y to 21,900 units.

Octavia was again Skoda best-selling model with 33,000 deliveries in April, up 5.5% y/y. Rapid followed with 16,900 sold units, up 157.7% 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. 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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