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April 12, 2005

CZECH REPUBLIC: Q1 car sales dip 3%

Czech passenger car sales dipped 3% year-on-year in the first quarter to 27,844 vehicles while Skoda Auto retained its market dominant position, industry data reportedly showed on Tuesday.

Czech passenger car sales dipped 3% year-on-year in the first quarter to 27,844 vehicles while Skoda Auto retained its market dominant position, industry data reportedly showed on Tuesday.

Analysts told Reuters that while the data could signal a slowdown of the market fall, the new figures are not fully comparable with older data since the association has switched to calculating new car registrations and not sales as it did in the past.

Fresh data released by the Czech car association (SDA) showed that Skoda captured 46% of the domestic market, slightly down from 48% in the first quarter of last year, the report said, adding that the number of light utility vehicles increased 25.8% to 7,023 units in the first three months of this year.

Many Czechs have been turning to imports of used and cheaper cars from western Europe, hitting the new car market, Reuters noted.

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