William Malcolm

Czech New Car Sales Fell 19% In 2020

Sales of new passenger cars in the Czech Republic fell by 18.8 percent to 202,971 vehicles last year. That’s almost 47,000 fewer cars than a year earlier. According to the Association of Car Importers, the reason for the decline was the restrictions due to the coronavirus epidemic.

“The main drop was caused by the closure of stores due to coronavirus, poorer availability of some models due to disrupted supply relationships and supplies, but also due to the first year when average emissions are monitored, and carmakers more or less regulate which engines they sell,” said EY partner Petr Knap.

Last year, the best-selling Škoda Auto brand recorded a 13 percent drop in registrations to 74,786 cars, followed by Volkswagen with a decline of 19.7 percent to 16,767 vehicles sold the third by Hyundai, which sold 16,030 cars, down 17 percent year-on-year. Toyota advanced to fourth place with 10,023 cars, and fifth is Dacia with 9,751 cars.

According to experts, the market ended up a little better than expected, mainly due to strong growth in December, when sales were higher than in 2019. “Given the difficult situation due to recurrent and ongoing restrictive measures due to the epidemic, the final figures are solid. The result, which shows that dealers and manufacturers have been able to adapt to difficult situations, and also shows that demand remains strong, which fills us with optimism about possible developments for 2021,” said PwC automotive expert Michal Razim.

Companies purchased a total of 74 percent of passenger cars. The share of petrol cars exceeded 64 percent, diesel cars had 30 percent. Electric car registrations rose 331 percent to 3,262 cars. The best-selling categories were SUVs with a share of 35 percent and the lower middle class with 18 percent.

The best-selling models were the Škoda Octavia (19,091 cars), the Škoda Fabia (15,986 cars), and the Škoda Scala (8,736 cars). Other Škoda Karoq and Kamiq models follow. According to Jiří Maláček, head of Škoda’s representation in the Czech Republic, the brand increased its market share by 2.5 percentage points to 36.9 percent thanks to a strong product portfolio, which also included the best-selling Citigoe electric car. “From the point of view of the Škoda brand, we managed to minimize the damage. We sold 74,786 new cars, which, given the circumstances, is not a dramatic loss compared to 85,895 in 2019,” he said.

Sales of light commercial vehicles fell 16.1 percent to 17,141 deliveries. Peugeot sold the most cars, a total of 2,694 cars. It was only less than one percent less than in 2019. Sales to the second Volkswagen fell by a quarter to 2,237 cars, and the third Fiat saw a decline of 18 percent to 2,120 cars.

Truck registrations fell a quarter to 7,355 vehicles. Mercedes Benz leads with 1,547 cars sold. The second is MAN with 1,339 cars sold and the third DAF with 1,078 cars. Domestic Tatra sold 246 cars and Avia 14 cars.

Bus sales increased 12 percent to 1,367 vehicles. In December, sales increased by 129 percent year on year. The first is the Iveco Bus brand with 539 registered buses, followed by SOR with 344 cars and MAN with 116 buses.

Overall, registrations of new motorcycles rose 14.8 percent to 21,518 machines. In December, they rose by 256 percent year on year. The first is the Honda brand with 3788 newly registered motorcycles, followed by Yamaha with 1841 machines and CF Moto with 1652 motorcycles.