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New car market dip for 2005 in central Europe

The market for new cars in central Europe fell by 0.7% in 2005 as consumers continued to fuel rising car ownership in the region's largest markets by buying imported used cars, according to JATO Dynamics.

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.

Make Q4 '05 Q4 '04 2005 2004 change '04 '05 vs '04
Skoda 37,324 38,686 146,753 151,982 -3.5% -3.4%
Dacia 26,564 22,860 102,823 61,593 +16.2% +66.9%
Renault 20,079 19,904 82,004 91,243 +0.9% -10.1%
Opel 20,329 19,042 69,340 76,386 +6.8% -9.2%
Volkswagen 18,672 17,911 62,748 62,598 +4.2% +0.2%
Ford 15,253 12,744 56,552 58, 196 +19.7% -2.8%
Toyota 12,728 12,610 55,407 60,736 +0.9% -8.8%
Peugeot 11,174 13,289 50,838 60,713 -15.9% -16.3%
Suzuki 12,013 10,580 48,302 39,886 +13.5% +21.1%
Fiat 10,378 14,946 42,065 72,888 -30.6% -42.3%

Country Q4 '05 Q4 '04 2005 2004 Q4 change '05 vs. '04
Czech Republic 39,053 37,101 151,009 142,573 +5.3% +5.9%
Estonia 4,607 3,785 19,638 16,436 +21.7% +19.5%
Hungary 57,285 59,242 202,210 209,341 -3.3% -3.4%
Latvia 5,007 3,243 16,857 11,321 +54.4% +48.9%
Lithuania 2,733 2,622 10,463 9,493 +4.2% +10.2%
Poland 51,549 62,467 235,689 318,111 -17.5% -25.9%
Romania 58,165 46,807 215,554 145,129 +24.3% +48.5%
Slovakia 14,733 18,327 59,293 62,892 -19.6% -5.7%
Slovenia 12,521 12,984 60,752 63,286 -3.6% -4.0%
Total 245,653 246, 578 971,465 978,582 -0.4% -0.7%

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