Fourth quarter sales for 2005 fell 0.4% compared with the same period in 2004.
JATO data shows the new car market in the last quarter of 2005 was 0.4% lower than the same period in 2004. The full-year market was 971,465 units, which was 7,117 units lower than in 2004.
The region's largest new car market in the fourth quarter was Romania, where sales increased by 24.3% compared with the same period in 2004 to 58,165 units. Full-year sales were 48.5% higher than in 2004, at 215,554 units. Romania is not likely to join the EU until 2007 or 2008, however, so its new car market is not facing the kind of competition from imported used cars that is currently being experienced in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Skoda was the leading brand in central Europe in 2005, taking a 15.1% share of the new car market. Dacia took second place, with sales up 66.9%, thanks to the introduction of the new Logan model. Renault, Opel and Volkswagen completed the top 5 for the region.
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