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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