Car sales in the Czech Republic rose 4.7% in 2008 according to the local association of car importers.

New registrations of passenger and light-utility vehicles grew to 203,647 units in 2008. An annual growth rate of 4.7% compares with 12.2% in the previous year.

Skoda notched up a 31% market share, down from 37% in 2007.

To aid the car sector, the Finance Ministry has proposed allowing businesses to write-off the value-added tax (VAT) on a new car purchase.