Škoda Auto breaks sales records in 2017, strong performance seen continuing this year

The Czech Republic’s biggest manufacturing company, Škoda Auto, set new sales records in 2017 with demand strong across the world. Established models as well as some of the latest roll outs contributed to the soaring deliveries of the Czech cars.

Škoda Karoq, photo: Škoda AutoŠkoda Karoq, photo: Škoda Auto 2017 began as it ended for the Czech Republic’s biggest car maker, Škoda Auto, with record sales in January and record sales again in the month of December. And the strong performance of the other 10 months added up to total sales of almost 1.21 million Škoda Auto cars globally, up 6.6 percent on the previous year.

The mid-range Octavia was still the best selling model with almost 419,000 cars sold but it’s probably now showing its age. Sales of the top of the range Superb were up almost nine percent at just under 151,000 cars.

And Škoda says its latest models are also selling well. The Kodiaq SUV already notched up sales of 100,000 in 2017. And the fellow SUV launched late last year, the Karoq, has sold 6,300.

Geographically, the Mladá Boleslav based carmaker saw strong sales across the world. China still comes in as the number one market with around 325,000 cars sold last year, up 2.5 percent. December’s figures were just over 42,000 cars sold, a rise of almost 42 percent on the previous year.

Erich Handl, photo: Czech TelevisionErich Handl, photo: Czech Television Germany remains the second biggest market with the 2017 rise in sales almost twice as high at 4.9 percent and around 173,000 cars sold. And sales in Central Europe were up almost 18 percent.

But will those main markets hold up in 2018 and can Škoda Auto keeping meeting demand when it is already operating at near capacity. That’s a question that was put to Erich Handl, the editor of the Czech auto industry news site, automakers.

ʺThe increase in Škoda sales fundamentally depends on the growth taking place on the Chinese auto market. China is the world’s biggest single auto market for our domestic car producer. If Škoda Auto sees stronger demand on the Chinese market then it should see growth as a whole.ʺ

Handl sees the Chinese car market growing in 2018 at around the same pace as last year and that should translate into similar rising figures for the main Czech manufacturer. And with its ongoing investment, the auto expert has no concerns that Škoda Auto should be able to keep on boosting production and keeping pace with the rising demand.

Photo: Škoda AutoPhoto: Škoda Auto ʺŠkoda Auto is massively investing in its production capacity and this year is no exception to that. So, overall we can expect another increase in the sales of its models.ʺ

There is one feature that Handl also remarks upon and that is the fact that Škoda, or perhaps parent company Volkswagen, is steering the Czech manufacturer more and more into the Sports Utility Vehicle with both of its latest launches coming in that segment of fairly high priced cars. Although the initial figures appear positive, the final conclusions of that bet still have to be made.

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