Europe: Czech Republic ready for record auto sales this year

#hashtags: #Czech #Monday #Car Importers Association #Volkswagen #European Union

Czech vehicle deliveries might jump 20 percent to an all time high tally of at least 230,000 units this year, said Monday the country’s Car Importers Association. The industry body also added they saw little impact from Volkswagen’s scandal about rigged emissions tests. New car registrations jumped by a fifth during the first nine months of the year compared to the same period of 2014, thanks to a growing economy that is the European Union’s second fastest mainly because of increased household demand. Volkswagen’s autos hold a huge market share in the central European country of 10.5 million, at 48 percent, with the Czech Republic also home to Skoda Auto – the bestselling brand – a subsidiary of Germany’s VW AG. Meanwhile, the carmaker – the world’s largest by sales after the first six months of the year – has been dragged into the heaviest crisis in its 78-year history. The company acknowledged it had cheated on diesel-powered emissions tests in the US and it had installed the illegal software in up to 11 million autos around the world. The tally includes about 1.2 million Skoda units. While some Czech officials and analysts do forecast some economic impact from the fallout to the VW dieselgate scandal as the country has deep ties to the German automaker and its supplier chain, the main car association concluded there was still no major impact from the crisis and sales were ready for a record pace. “I do not expect any dramatic drop in sales,” commented Antonin Sipek, head of the Automotive Industry Association. Via Reuters