Czech auto sector enjoys booming 2011

While the rest of the economy has had a difficult year, the Czech auto sector is set for record production figures for 2011

The motor vehicle sector saw a 4.7 percentage point growth in retail sales compared with last year foto: © TPCAČeská pozice

The motor vehicle sector saw a 4.7 percentage point growth in retail sales compared with last year

Czech vehicle production, the motor of the export oriented economy, should reach a record 1.182 million by the end of 2011, the Czech Automobile Industry Association (SAP) has predicted.

That figure represents  a jump of 9.8 percent on the 1.077 million vehicles produced in 2010, when there was a 9.47 percent increase on the previous year.

The industry association added that the average auto industry wage of Kč 29,473 in the first half of 2011 is around 25 percent higher than the Czech average, the biggest percentage difference over the last decade. The average wage of blue collar auto workers is just under 5.0 percent above the average wage after long being slightly below the Czech average.

Helped by strong exports, the Czech auto sector has thrived throughout 2011 while other industries have started to feel the impact of economic slowdown and fears that 2012 could be even worse than this year.

The country’s biggest auto producer, Škoda Auto, has been the main component of the production growth and expects double digit production growth this year.  By the end of November the Czech and foreign factories of the Volkswagen-owned firm had already produced around 816,000 cars, more than for the total for the whole of 2010.

Production at Hyundai’s Czech plant also looks likely to increase in 2011 though output from the Toyota, Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech (TPCA) joint venture is reportedly set to fall this year from the  295,712 cars produced in 2010.

Neighboring Slovakia also looks like having a record year for production with preliminary figures suggesting production of around 650,000 vehicles compared with around 522,000 vehicles in 2010.