ŠKODA is continuing on its growth course in early 2012. Worldwide sales of this long-established Czech carmaker rose 10.2 percent year on year in January 2012 to 75,400 units. This is also the best January figure in ŠKODA’s 117-year corporate history.

Despite a shrinking global market, ŠKODA raised its global share significantly to a total of 1.58 percent. The brand posted high growth rates especially in some of the markets in Western, Central and Eastern Europe. However, ŠKODA also made headway in Asian markets even though some of them shrank in January 2012.

Following record sales of 879,200 in 2011, ŠKODA has maintained its swift pace on the markets in the first month of the new year. The January figures are an early indicator that ŠKODA is set to continue on its growth path in 2012: 75,400 deliveries to customers represent a new high for January in ŠKODA’s corporate history. The company is aiming for more sales growth in 2012. “We achieved a lightning start and grew further in all sales regions in January. This was a perfect pickup and one that creates the basis for us for more growth this year,” is how Jürgen Stackmann, ŠKODA board member for sales and marketing sums things up.

The new record figure is equivalent to a 10.2 percent year-on-year increase. “The ŠKODA brand has got a good momentum. Our model offensive will really start rolling this year. We are continuing on the course of our 2018 growth strategy,” says Stackmann.

ŠKODA showed especial strength in Western Europe’s intensely competitive markets. Deliveries to customers in the region rose by 10.8 percent to 29,300 units in January 2012. This compares with 26,400 units delivered in January 2011. ŠKODA thus raised its market share significantly in Western Europe: by almost to 21 percent to a current 3,11 percent. In Switzerland for instance, sales rose by 46.2 percent to almost units, lifting ŠKODA to number two nationwide. In Germany, ŠKODA’s sales increased by 23.2 percent to more than 8,900 units, in Austria by 33.9 percent to over 2,000 units. At plus 30.6 percent, 24.0 percent and 19.5 percent in deliveries respectively, the Yeti, Octavia and Roomster were especially popular in Western Europe.

ŠKODA also posted further increases in growth markets China and India: sales in China, where the market shrank in January 2012 due to this year’s early Chinese New Year celebrations, still rose by one percent to reach 20,800 units. In India, ŠKODA’s sales advanced by 6.7 percent to more than 3,000 units, while the overall market on the subcontinent declined by more than ten percent in January 2012. In addition, the Rapid, the new Indian compact saloon had an excellent start to the year with more than 1,500 new Rapid customers in India taking delivery of their cars in January 2012 alone.

January sales were up in Eastern Central Europe: ŠKODA sold 10,200 units, about 2.5 percent more than in January 2011. In the Czech Republic, its home market ŠKODA’s sales came in at a stable 4,148 units, with the new Citigo subcompact achieving an excellent debut at home, defending its number one position in the minicar segment in January 2012. In addition, ŠKODA posted double-digit growth in Slovakia at 24.5 percent and in Hungary at 13.5 percent.

Among the largest percentage wins recorded by ŠKODA in January 2012 were in Eastern Europe, where more than 7,700 deliveries translate into a plus of 44.5 percent as against 5,400 units in January 2011. The lion’s share was provided by Russia, with 4,800 deliveries amounting to a 41.7 growth against January 2011’s 3,400 vehicles. ŠKODA thus grew twice as fast as Russia’s market overall, which posted a plus of 20,1 percent. At 2,775 units, the Octavia was ŠKODA’s most popular model in Russia. The Yeti powered ahead 230.1 percent to 538 units. ŠKODA also recorded strong growth in Ukraine: almost 1,300 cars sold there mean sales increased by almost 120 percent.

ŠKODA’s sales also developed favourably in other international markets in January 2012. Examples include Egypt, up 84 percent year on year, Israel, up 52 percent and Australia, up 39 percent.

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