Škoda Auto has announced its best year ever, with another significant increase in automobile production and sales in 2000.
At Škoda Auto's annual press conference Vratislav Kulhánek, chairman of the board of directors of Škoda Auto, reported that the company sold a total of 435,403 automobiles in 2000, an increase of 13%.
The majority of these, 81.4%, were exported to nearly 70 countries throughout the world, and accounted for 9.9% of the Czech Republic's total exports. The highest growth was in Western Europe, where sales increased 19.2%, to 229,109 vehicles.
Sales in western Europe reached 229,109 units (1999: 192,156).
“Škoda Auto is a driving force of the Czech industrial sector and its success is a major encouragement to potential foreign investors," Mr Kulhánek said.
Evidence of foreign investment can be seen in the Volkswagen Group's purchase of the remaining 30 per cent of the company's equity on 22 May, 2000.
Major contirbutors to the success of Skoda in 2000 were strong sales of the Fabia, and the launch of the Fabia Estate at the end of the year. Increased Fabia production and continued demand for Octavia and Felicia enabled Škoda Auto to achieve a production increase of 21.5% over 1999 to 450,910 vehicles, another record.
Klaus Wulf, Member of the Board for Commercial Affairs, stated that Škoda Auto's sales and turnover volume were the best in the company's history. Pre-tax revenues grew by 9.5%to £75.9 million, while after-tax profits went up by 26.5%£60.7 million. Turnover grew by 23.4%to £2.48 billion and return on sales reached 2.4%.