Skoda continues to speed ahead on world markets. Figures for January to March 2012 show the brand achieved not one, but two delivery records in the first quarter of this year. At 95,200 deliveries to customers, March 2012 was the best sales month ever for Skoda, translating into a year-on-year growth of 12.1 per cent. This contributed to first-quarter sales figures increasing by 11.8 to more than 242,700 units, making this Skoda’s best-ever quarter in the brand’s 117-year history. Skoda’s world market share increased to almost 1.5 per cent (2011: 1.4 per cent). Markets such as China and India continued their successful trend and set new highs; Russia, Eastern Europe and major Western European markets also posted double-digit growth. However, some markets displayed increased signs of economic uncertainty.
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“Skoda continued on its growth course in March and in the first quarter,” said Jürgen Stackmann, Skoda board member for sales and marketing. “Though market conditions were difficult worldwide, we managed to increase our sales, bucking the market trend. This confirms our 2018 growth strategy and is an expression of all our employees’, importers’ and dealers’ dedication,” said Stackmann, adding: “In the months ahead, we will continue our model offensive and add new models to our palette.“ As Western Europe continued to be marked by intense competition, Skoda managed to grow in March 2012, resisting the trend. Though the overall market declined slightly, Skoda increased sales marginally by one per cent, selling almost 41,500 cars (March 2011: 41.100).
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In Western Europe, Skoda raised deliveries by 3.7 per cent year on year to a total of close to 98,500 (1st quarter 2011: 95,000). Austria (plus 23.6 per cent), Great Britain (plus 22.8 per cent), France (plus 19.3 per cent), Sweden (plus 17.8 per cent), Finland (plus 17 per cent), Spain (plus 12 per cent) and Switzerland (plus 9.1 per cent) posted the strongest growth in Western Europe. Skoda also continued on its successful course in Germany, Europe’s largest market, increasing sales slightly to 14,500 cars. In March, Skoda’s most popular models in Western Europe were the Fabia and the Octavia, while the Yeti and the Roomster achieved the highest growth rates, posting 10.3 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively. The Superb also performed strongly, rising by 3.3 per cent.
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March 2012 saw Skoda again posting a high percentage growth in Eastern Europe. Deliveries to customers rose 41.4 per cent to almost 11,600 units (March 2011: 8,200 units). In the first quarter of 2012 Skoda grew by 38.7 per cent to about 28,300 delivered vehicles in Eastern Europe (1st quarter 2011: 20,400 vehicles). Russia confirmed its role as the region’s sales engine, with SKODA continuing its successful run there in March, raising sales by 47 per cent to over 8,100 cars (March 2011: 5.500 units). In Russia, Skoda delivered 19,200 or 42.9 per cent more cars (1st quarter 2011: 13,400 cars). On the Russian market, SKODA most popular model in March was the Octavia again, totalling more than 4,100 deliveries to customers (plus 39.3 per cent, March 2011: 3,000). Sales figures for the Yeti compact SUV doubled from almost 700 to a shade under 1,400 units.
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The Roomster advanced by 126 per cent to almost 170 units, while the Superb rose 51.7 per cent to just under 500 cars. Skoda also posted a significant sales increase in Ukraine in March 2012, gaining 92,1 per cent for a total of 1,700 vehicles. Skoda continued to increase deliveries in East Central Europe in March. Sales rose 6.3 per cent to almost 11.500 units (March 2011: 10,800 units). In the year’s first three months, Skoda grew 5.5 per cent across the region to over 32,600 cars (1st quarter 2011: 30,900 cars). In the Czech Republic, the brand’s home market, deliveries to customers rose 3.3 per cent to 5.300 vehicles in March 2012 (March 2011: 5,100). In Poland’s declining overall market, Skoda bucked the trend in March, raising sales by 9.8 per cent to a total of 3,600 vehicles delivered. In Hungary and Croatia, the brand achieved double-digit sales growth at 11.5 and 55.9 per cent respectively.
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The Octavia retained its title as East Central Europe’s most popular Skoda, (5,400 units; plus 17.2 per cent), while the Yeti (plus 24.4 per cent) and the Superb (plus 10,1 per cent) posted the strongest growth rates. Skoda also continued on its successful course in China, with deliveries to customers rising 9.6 per cent to more than 21,300 cars in March 2012 (March 2011: almost 19.500 units). In China, Skoda achieved a growth rate of 8.9 per cent and deliveries of 59,200 cars in the first quarter of 2012 (1st quarter 2011: 54,400 cars).
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This confirms China’s status as the brand’s largest individual market by sales. In March, the Octavia (13,300 units; plus 18.3 per cent) and the Fabia (4,900 units, plus 32,2 per cent) were especially popular with Chinese customers. Skoda repeated high growth rates in India in March as sales rose 64.5 per cent to almost 5,000 vehicles (March 2011: 3,000) and 40 per cent for a total of 11,500 cars over the first three months of 2012 (1st quarter 2011: 8,200 cars). The Rapid compact saloon, which has been available in India since late 2011, is proving extremely popular with Indian customers at 2,700 units sold in March 2012 as against 2,000 in February 2012.
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The Rapid is crucially important for Skoda’s intended growth in the market. It is a car that has been designed specifically for the needs of Indian customers. Rising sales figures and the car’s selection as “family car of the year” in late 2011 confirm the model’s success on the subcontinent. Skoda also showed strength as sales rose in other markets in March 2012. In Israel Skoda delivered 1,200 cars to customers (plus 47.9 per cent), close to 800 in Egypt (plus >500 per cent) and 400 in Australia (plus 145,6 per cent)
Skoda brand deliveries to customers in March 2012 (in units; +/- in per cent year on year):
Skoda Octavia (40,800; +15.2 %)
Skoda Fabia (28,000; +2.7 %)
Skoda Superb (10,600; -9.0 %)
Skoda Yeti (8,900; +28.6 %)
Skoda Roomster (3,900; +5.2 %)
Skoda Rapid (sold in India only: 2.700; new model)
Skoda Citigo (sold in Czech Republic only: 270; new model)
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