Skoda Auto AS, the Czech division of Volkswagen AG, said today it sold 314,266 vehicles in January-to-September 2000, up 7.4% on the same period last year.

Year-on-year, its nine-month sales grew 11.9% to 168,522 in Western Europe, yet fell 2.9% to 73,068 in Central Europe, Skoda said in a news release.

Among the company's biggest markets in Western Europe, sales rose 19.3% to 11,096 in Spain, 14.5% to 23,126 in the UK, 8.7% to 48,520 in Germany and 5.9% to 16,341 in Italy.

Skoda enjoyed growth across the old Communist bloc, including 80.6% to 1,479 in Ukraine, 73.1% to 4,439 in Croatia, 71.2% to 1,224 in Yugoslavia, 42.9% to 1,760 in Russia and 13.4% to 5,367 in Hungary.

Elsewhere in Eastern Europe, sales fell. The biggest drop was in Poland, down 11.6% to 28,814.

In the Czech Republic, sales rose 2.4% to 57,912 for a market share of 50.7%.

Skoda plans to sell over 400,000 vehicles in 2000. It expects turnover above 130bn Czech crowns.

Contact Ryan James Tutak, associate editor of just-auto.com for Eastern Europe:
rjt@pronet.hu
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