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Skoda’s first-half deliveries decline 31%, sees steady markets ahead

Skoda Auto sees signs of recovery following first-half deliveries saw a 31% decline amid coronavirus lockdown measures, the Czech automaker owned by Volkswagen stated on Friday.

The automaker, a bellwether for the Czech economy which contracted by a record 10.7% year-on-year in the second quarter, stated it expected worldwide markets to stabilize gradually as long as the coronavirus crisis does not worsen significantly.

Skoda delivered 426,700 cars from January to June while sales revenue declined by a quarter to 7.55 billion euros ($8.95 billion)and operating profit dropped 72% to 228 million euros.

It said that its program to resume operations since June had shown positive effects and said incoming orders had started to exceed last year’s level. Demand at European dealerships had boosted, it added.

“In June we were able to make major gains compared to the previous months,” said Skoda board member for sales, Alain Favey. “We expect a recovery in the third quarter and anticipate a return to the previous year’s level in the fourth quarter.”

Skoda, the country’s biggest exporter that made deliveries of 1.24 million vehicles in 2019, said it was continuing to present the largest model campaign in its history, with 30 new models – including electric vehicles – launching between 2019 and 2022.

The automaker’s Czech factories shut for 39 days after the coronavirus pandemic hit Europe in March, a major blow to an economy that depends heavily on the auto industry.

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