Czech Republic: Vehicle production falls by 11.3% y/y in January

Vehicle production fell by 11.3% y/y (wda) in January, down to 115,817 units, according to figures of AutoSAP, the vehicle manufacturers’ association. It was the second consecutive month with a decline, reflecting the poor performance of the manufacturing PMI, which was at its lowest in the past six years in January. Poor external demand has been the primary factor behind lower production, which was reflected in exports, down by 10.7% y/y in January (in volume). Domestic sales didn’t fare much better, down by 18.1% y/y, as already implied by car registration data from the SDA, the car importers’ association. The main difference between the two indicators is that this one reflects only domestic production, while SDA data includes new vehicle imports as well.

As far as production is concerned, passenger car and LCV production continued to be the primary factor behind the headline figure, as output fell by 11.5% y/y in January, while exports were lower by 10.9% y/y. Hyundai reported the biggest decline, down by 33.0% y/y in output and 34.0% y/y in exports, while Skoda fared somewhat better, its output falling by 7.1% y/y in January, while its exports – by 5.5% y/y. Yet, numerous reports put Skoda at the ceiling of its production capacity, so worse performance is hardly surprising. TPCA keeps reporting a slight improvement, with output growing by 3.2% y/y in January. It appears that the forthcoming ownership changes in the company are leading to favourable results.

There weren’t many other meaningful developments in other sectors, except maybe bus production, which jumped by 21.5% y/y. However, all sectors other than passenger cars and LCV have generally very low nominal output, so big fluctuations are the rule, rather than the exception. Overall, Skoda continues to dominate vehicle production, having a 64.9% share in passenger car and LCV production. Hyndai’s unconvincing results are leaving it with 17.4% market share, just behind TPCA Czech with 17.6%.


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