Czech car maker Skoda Auto AS, a unit of Germany's Volkswagen AG, said that its global sales in August 2012 rose by 12% YoY to 67,700 cars, an all time high in this month for the 117 year old company.
The sales record at Skoda Auto, the bellwether of the Czech automotive focused economy and the country's key exporter, bodes well for the export led recovery of the Czech economy in the second half of the year, following the country's gross domestic product contraction in the first half.
According to figures from both Skoda and other European car manufacturers, sales in western Europe, Skoda Auto's largest market in volume terms, rose by 1.2% YoY to 21,700 cars. This contrasts with the overall car industry's annual 8.3% decline of car sales in western Europe in August 2012. With its sales rising, Skoda Auto also boosted its western European market share to 3.3% in August 2012 from 2.8% at the end of 2011. Markets elsewhere in Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe accounted for the remainder of Skoda Auto sales in August 2012.
Sales in China, Skoda Auto's second largest market after western Europe, rose by 4.5% YoY to 19,700 cars in August 2012.
Skoda Auto's sales performance reinforces timid signs that the Czech economy may rebound from its recent declines. Second quarter GDP narrowed by 1% YoY, below the expected 1.2% decline, but sharper than a 0.7% annual contraction in the first quarter, driven by a fall in household spending and a less dramatic contraction in government expenditure.
Source - Wall Street Journal