The Czech Republic is a small prosperous country in the middle of Europe, EC member since 2004 with intensive economic relations inside Europe, especially with Germany. The economy is driven by large export activity in many sectors. The 2008 global financial crisis hit the export sector and national GDP declined 4.7% in 2009. In 2010 and 2011 it has slowly recovered by respectively 2.3% and 1.9%. The pro capita GDP in 2011 was $ 25.900, $5.000 below EU zone average. A low inflation rate (1.9% in 2011) allows at the Central Bank to maintain low interest rates in order to stimulate the internal demand. However the European recession environment will generate constraints for months.
The Automotive industry
The automotive industry is the largest industrial sector of the country, accounting for 24% of manufacturing GDP. In the last 10 years the production grew considerably, thanks to the export quota of more than 80%. In 2011 car produced were 1.1 million and the country was the world's 16th car producer.
The national Brand, Skoda, has over 100 years of history. Now it is part of Volkswagen group. However in the country cars are produced also by TPCA, a joint venture between PSA and Toyota and by Hyundai, that built a plant in Nosovice with a yearly production capability exceeding 300.000 cars and over 3.500 people employed.
The Czech Republic is also characterized by a strong automotive suppliers sector. According to the national investment agency (CzechInvest), more than half of the largest global automotive suppliers have operations in the country. This large portfolio of suppliers gives access to an almost complete local supply chain, providing significant cost advantages. The country's skilled industrial labor force, together with its proximity to Germany and other Western European markets, secured by a stable political and economic environment, is turning the Czech Republic into a new pole of the European car industry.
Involved in the European economic recession, the Czech car market fell again in April, when sales dropped 9.4% from the previous year. The data was a bit better than the previous quarter. Skoda recovered the 30% of market share, while Fiat tumbled down at 1.2%.
March 2013 had confirmed the negative momentum of the Czech Republic car market, as sales fell 19.0% from last year. First quarter ended down 16.3%. Hyundai broke the barrier of 10% of market share and overtook Volkswagen in second place.
In February, car market in Czech Republic was heavy negative, posting a 22% drop from last year. Skoda had lost share, hit by frail demand on Octavia, while Volkswagen improved share pushed by new Golf demand. Peugeot was the performer of the month.
Following the all-time record sales posted in the 2012, in January the Czech Republic car market was down 6.6% from last. Ford and Kia posted very negative performances, while Citroen and Volkswagen started the 2013 with great performances.
In spite of last months had shown a negative trend, with December falling 14.9% from last year, the Czech Republic car market in the 2012 was 0.4% up from 2011 and establishing the new all-time record. Skoda was stable at 30% of share.
In November, the Czech Republic car market was down 10.8% from last year. However, cumulate sales were up 1.9%. Renault recovered share after the October drop, while Peugeot posted the worst month of the year.
Following the September decline, the Czech Republic car market recovered in October posting a 7.5% increase. Year-to-date sales were up 3.3%, one of the best performance in Europe this year. Skoda share climbed over 33%.
Czech Republic car market in September slightly declined posting 12.475 sales, down 3.9% from last year. The year-to-date sales were 131.059, up 2.8% from last year. Skoda posted 5 models in the top 6 confirming the dominion on the market.
Following a positive first half, closed with a market up 6%, July was negative for the Czech Republic car market, posting 11.158 sales, down 7.9% from last year. The year to date July sales were 105.391, up 5.0% from last year. Skoda share was stable at 30%.
The Czech Republic is a middle size market, stable and steady growing. The all time volume record achieved in the 2011 should be beaten again this year. Skoda dominates with over 30% of market share, while Hyundai is now the second player.